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The best change management policy is not necessarily one particular policy, but a series of policies that address the processes of change and solve issues that arise during a major period of change for an organization. When determining change management policy, important points to consider include the measurable business impact of the change, the psychological impact to the change, and how to handle obstacles that arise as a result of the change. A good change management plan will take into consideration the financial costs of the change as well as changes in business function and employee morale.
Planning effective change management depends heavily on the type of change being made in the organization. As a whole, the goal in change management policy is to ensure that the business runs as smoothly as possible during the transition period. A change management plan must examine the available budget for the transition and costs of the change, as well as how the chosen physical and policy changes will be implemented.
The psychological aftermath of change can cause problems with employees, including poor employee retention, worker dissatisfaction, and resistance to changes in the company. Good change management policy recognizes that these negative reactions are reactions that stem from concern for the health of the company. These employees should be handled with respect and open communication while providing a sincere attempt to understand their concerns. By understanding the concerns of a vocally resistant employee, you may become aware of concerns unspoken among the general workforce that can affect attitudes during change. When meeting with resistant employees, it is best to address the problem privately and in person with the employee and as soon as possible.
Upset employees can interrupt change by complaining about the change to other employees, creating negative attitudes about the change. By meeting with resistant employees early on in the process of change, you may be able to prevent them from spreading change-resistant attitudes around the workplace, especially if their concerns are based on misunderstandings or misinformation. Communicating with employees openly can help you understand employee problems with proposed changes so you can address any fears they have before the dissent creates more problems for the organization.
When making a major change in an organization, it is important that all levels of management avoid making changes that are outside the change management plan. When an organization is undergoing major changes, even minor peripheral changes like new software or adjustments to the dress code can trigger feelings of unease. Some changes that seem minor may also cause interruptions or obstacles when implementing the change management plan. For this reason, it is vital that all supervising employees have an open line of communication through which they can advise higher-level supervisors of necessary peripheral changes to make sure they fit into the overall change management policy.
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