Getting a Handle on Organizational Change

By | January 21, 2017

The only thing many of us can be certain of is change, although change can be scary, particularly for employees of a company. You might see change as a necessary way of improving a business, but it is likely that not all of those employed at your business will see it that way. Many people feel nervous if management or employers announce a major restructuring or changes at a company and may immediately start to be concerned about job security and downsizing. Although you may not be able to promise this will not happen, you should involve your employees in the organizational changes and keep them.

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When Should Organizational Changes Be Implemented?

Some organizational changes are not intended and may come out of the blue, but these are often not under the best circumstances. The best case scenario for such changes is they are undertaken at a time when things are positive for the company and there is plenty of cash on hand to implement changes. Less ideal circumstances involve changes that must occur when a business is facing financial headwinds. However, if you are choosing to make organizational changes, select a time when things are relatively calm and there is financial stability. Employees are much more likely to accept changes if they feel things are generally good.

Types of Organizational Changes

Organizational changes occur when a company is being taken into a new direction. You may feel that a certain approach just isn’t working and want to try something new, such as a new product or service. Changes can occur as the result of an effort to expand globally. Other alterations may be needed if your business needs to cut costs immediately. Major overhauls can happen at a company through mergers or acquisitions or efforts to avoid being taken over. In addition, there may be a need to comply with new regulations or laws. This infographic put out by Maryville describes various types of organizational changes.

How to Prepare Your Employees for Organizational Change

Sometimes employees who want a future with a particular company may feel nervous at the mention of organizational changes. They may be worried first and foremost about layoffs. If part of your proposed changes are initiated by a need to cut costs, emphasizing the financial aspect may be unsettling for your employees, although the topic may not be so feasible to avoid if it is crystal clear to everyone anyway. The best thing you can do is to keep the lines of communication open, even if you have already made up your mind about what has to be done. Letting your employees express their feelings about the issue is an important way to build trust and a feeling that you are there for them.

The Need to Change

The world is moving faster with new advances, and it is hard to compete in the global marketplace without making organizational changes now and again. There are a number of high-profile companies that no longer exist because they would not adapt to the realities of the digital world, for example.  Be honest with yourself when change is needed at your company and implement changes in a way that will create a positive effect on your workforce.