Change management refers to the process of making organizational changes based on emerging market needs. In this post-pandemic era, change management is important for keeping up with disruptions, such as digital transformation and changing consumer needs.
Therefore, leaders in every organization need to learn and hone key change management skills to create and implement successful changes. In this post, we explain the top skills required to manage and implement change across an entire organization successfully.
6 Essential Skills Required in Change Management
Good change management is essential to making various changes in an organization, such as:
- Transitional change – changing some aspects of how a company operates
- Transformational change – a complete change in operations
- Developmental change – changes to improve existing operations
The change management skills required to implement these and more changes in an organization successfully include:
Good communication skills are useful at different stages of implementing organizational change. During the strategy phase, excellent communication is necessary for clarifying the objectives you wish to accomplish from the organizational changes.
After that, communication skills are important for convincing business executives and other employees of the need for the changes during the preparation phase. Lastly, great communication helps gather valuable feedback after implementing changes and tailor messages for each employee, horizontal or vertical, in the organization.
For change management to succeed, leaders must learn to listen as much as they communicate. Active listening is a skill required when taking in valuable feedback from employees and other stakeholders before and after implementing changes.
More than that, active listening is needed to make useful alterations to your change management plan based on relevant concerns presented by different parties. In the end, you end up with a change management plan that all parties affected are comfortable with, which shows you care about employees’ opinions.
Research skills are important if you lack prior experience with organizational change management. Strong research skills are necessary for conducting thorough background searches on various change management methods, their effectiveness, and how they can apply to your organization.
Researching is also crucial in studying and interpreting the company data to know if your organization can accommodate the changes at its current state and any potential roadblocks. This way, you can create a change management strategy that takes in all factors and increases your chances of success.
Successful change management begins with a strong strategy. Strategic thinking is a skill used in planning a strategy that factors in various organizational needs and coming up with a bigger-picture change management strategy.
Strategic thinking is also useful in identifying potential issues that may develop from the changes and creating a solution. Lastly, strategic thinking is also necessary for planning the execution of the change process, including timelines and the right people to manage the different aspects of the change.
Leadership is a valuable skill in change management since most people look to their leaders to help them to make permanent changes. As a leader, the most important qualities to have besides being able to delegate roles are:
- Honesty and transparency: being open on why the changes are occurring and how they will affect operations.
- Vision: having a clear goal for the organizational change and how to implement the changes across the company successfully.
- Motivation: the ability to get the entire team excited about the changes and the new roles they might take due to the change.
- Receptiveness: asking for feedback, listening, and making changes based on new ideas or concerns presented.
Measurement and Analysis
The last but not least skill needed to implement change is tracking and analyzing the results of organizational changes. Measuring is necessary to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) before and after the changes occur.
After measuring, analyzing skills are necessary for interpreting the KPIs based on your goals for the changes to determine whether you're headed in the right direction.
How are your Change Management skills from the list above? Here is how to Improve
Use the following tips to improve your change management skills and advance your career in your field:
Learn from Other Companies
When it comes to change management skills, there is nothing new under the sun. Most leaders from other organizations already have the management skills you want. To learn from them, study their change management experiences and take note of specific skills they applied at different stages of the change process. You can also read books, blogs, and articles on change management and get take away lessons you can use in your own situation.
Get a Coach or Mentor
Another way to learn and hone change management skills is to find a coach or mentor to teach you. During your lessons, ask the coach as many questions about their change management experience as possible. If their experiences are different from your industry or company, ask them for guidance on implementing successful change based on your specific company or industry needs.
Partner with a Consultant
Fully mastering change management skills may take time, depending on the level of skills you have. If you have a change management project coming up soon and need more time to perfect your skills, consider hiring a change management consultant to help you.
A consultant will offer guidance on creating a change management strategy and executing changes in line with your company’s needs. In the process, you can also get valuable insight into the best change management practices from how the consultant handles the change management process.
Get Help Implementing Organizational Changes with iSolved
Change management is an essential part of every business today. As markets continue to become unpredictable, every leader must have change management skills to keep with the changing demands.
At Platinum Group, we offer a full-service human capital management (HCM) resource that allows businesses to manage their payroll, benefits compliance, track time and attendance, and other various human resources function in a way that maximizes efficiency and eliminates redundancies through our isolved platform. For more information about Platinum Group or to schedule a demo of isolved, please visit our website or learn more here.