Management plays a significant role in successful change
Every organization encounters and implements changes. Changes can have various causes, such as a merger, the renewal of strategy or expansion into a new market. Regardless of the underlying cause of the change, success depends on a number of factors, including highly competent leadership, a systematic approach and engaging the commitment of employees. Studies show that most organizational changes do not achieve their goals related to change. Indeed, successful change is closely linked to human factors, such as trust, motivation and emotions. Our organizational psychologists provide support in the successful implementation of changes and the development of organizational culture.
How to successfully manage organizational change
- Organizational change processes are demanding opportunities for leadership development as well as organizational development. Changes may be related to, for example, the integration of acquired companies, the renewal of strategy, expansion into a new market, corporate restructuring or statutory employer–employee negotiations. It is important to manage change carefully to ensure that future operations will be effective and profitable.
- In a change process, it is especially important for ownership of the change to be transferred from the management to the entire workplace community at an early stage. This means that the management alone should not try to carry out the change. Engaging the entire workplace community is a key factor behind successful organizational change.
- Change should start with the management setting a clear goal. The problem that requires change needs to be made concrete, the goal needs to be set, and the way to achieve that goal needs to be determined. This makes the change process systematic, transparent and clear for everyone.
- When change is successful, the organization’s employees and customers can describe the change once it has been achieved. This should be kept in mind in managing the process: the stages and goals of the change need to be communicated regularly and in an easy-to-understand manner.
We ensure the full organization’s support in change situations
Support for senior management
We help senior management sharpen the goals of change. We provide support for transferring ownership of change from the management to the workplace community as a whole. We also provide support for successfully communicating the change story and processing it in the entire workplace community.
Support for supervisors
Learning new skills and putting them into action in day-to-day supervisory work play a significant role in achieving the goals of change management. We support supervisors in this effort in various ways, including the Field & Forum approach, which involves workshops and coaching sessions alternating with practical application. We also help strengthen role models related to change.
Support for the entire workplace community
It is important to communicate the change story and process it with the entire workplace community. We help your organization discuss the concerns and inspiring aspects related to the change, and what the workplace community needs to collectively do to successfully achieve the desired change. We also provide support for processing the potential challenges and conflicts arising from the change.
We help tackle the challenges that stand in the way of change, which can include the following:
- The organization does not have enough dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, so there is no pressure to achieve change. Even if the management aims to achieve change, the organization as a whole is not sufficiently committed or motivated to participate. Change will not be successful without the involvement of the entire workplace community.
- The goals set for the change are not shared by everyone, or they are not concrete enough, which makes it difficult to put the change into action.
- There is resistance to change in the organization. Resistance to change often emerges from the management, which initiates the change, being at odds with the organization’s other personnel. If the organization as a whole is not receptive to change, the likelihood of failure is high.
- The employees affected by the change lack sufficient opportunities to adapt the changes to their work or working conditions. This may be due to a lack of time or insufficient instructions.
- The management and supervisors are not receptive to the employees’ concerns regarding the change, or the potential discussion of their concerns. This may create further concerns and resistance to change among the employees.
The development of organizational culture goes hand in hand with change
What is organizational culture?
- Organizational culture consists of the factors at various levels that the organization has adopted as part of its operating practices to solve problems and achieve success. Examples of the elements of organizational culture include the behavior of the organization’s members, the norms and principles that govern the members’ actions, shared meanings and values, and the organization’s structures and processes.
- The same organizational culture does not suit every organization. Instead, the culture should be adapted to the organization’s operating environment and objectives. Organizations are dynamic, and the development of organizational culture is a process that is never finished. Organizational culture is built through day-to-day interaction between the members of the organization.
Development of organizational culture in connection with change
- When change is necessary, it is important to consider whether the organization’s current culture hinders the achievement of goals. It is crucial to assess potential problems in the current culture so that those aspects can be developed as the change moves ahead. For example, when mergers and acquisitions take place, it is important to create a sufficiently coherent culture that supports the well-being of people and successful business performance.
- A change in organizational culture starts with observing and analyzing the various aspects of the organizational culture. Having an external perspective is a significant part of change, as those who already operate within the culture are often accustomed to it and may not see the problems.
- The change process involves analyzing the current situation, planning the change, gradually implementing the plan, and monitoring progress. We engage in discussions with the members of the organization throughout the process to assess their actual perceptions and experiences.
Implementing change in organizational culture
To start with, it is important to determine the current state and goal state of the organization’s culture. When problems have been identified, the next step is to consider methods together with the management. We analyze existing information and conduct interviews.
In the planning stage, the goal state is made concrete and a detailed plan is defined. This stage includes management workshops and the creation of an action plan.
Implementation of change
The progress of change is monitored on a weekly basis. The methods we use include intra-organization campaigns and change workshops, as well as active presence and support.
Monitoring and measurement
After the change has been implemented, monitoring is used to assess its impact and ensure its permanence. Monitoring takes place on a weekly basis. We interview the organization’s key personnel and take advantage of key indicators.
How do we help with change and change management?
- We support the entire organization throughout the process of change. Changes require long-term work, processing difficult experiences and emotions, and active problem-solving. We provide insight into organizational psychology, and expertise and presence to ensure that the goals of change can be achieved.
- We help transfer ownership of change from the management to the workplace community as a whole. We sharpen the change story and serve as a sparring partner to the management on how to communicate the change and process it with the workplace community.
- We develop day-to-day supervisory work, recognizing that change management requires the learning and use of new skills. Our methods include the Field & Forum approach, which involves workshops and coaching sessions alternating with practical application. We also provide support for strengthening role models for change and discussing the process.