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Organizational change management (OCM) is the approach that managers of a company use to handle the altering of processes within a business. Doing so generally requires supervisors to monitor and handle the implementation of new concepts, while also modifying existing processes and any resulting social or workflow changes. Experts in organizational change usually suggest that specific steps be taken when adding new policies, procedures, and processes. When company owners and management handle such change properly, it can maximize the benefits of the actual modifications, and allow for a smooth transition, since people generally fear change to some degree.
Successful organizational change management typically requires that all those involved in the changes be in agreement on what needs to be altered. Once this consensus is reached — whether it is the overall future vision of the company or the basic reason for the change — the project can move forward to carry out the change. Communication is another key factor in managing this kind of shift. For instance, upper-level management should be able to clearly convey the vision, reason, and purpose for the changes that are being implemented to other employees of the company.
These executives of the company also need to be able to provide thorough training to all the staff members responsible for implementing the changes. For example, if the process of manufacturing the company’s product is changing because it is no longer done by hand, but will be accomplished by the employee using a machine or piece of equipment, any employees using this new machinery or method must be trained on how to do so. Additionally, people should also be informed as to how this new process will benefit them, individually, and the company as a whole.
Planning to implement and measure the effects of the changes are other key components of organizational change management. Contingency planning also comes into play because, if the changes hit some kind of a snag, the plan should include how the company plans to overcome the challenge. Employees should also be informed of these plans so that all involved understand the full process, and know what to expect.
Employee empowerment is the final component of organizational change management. Enabling employees to make decisions and be part of the process can be rewarding for them, and to the organization, both socially and financially. Another good idea is to institute a reward system to recognize the new responsibilities, tasks, and roles that staff members play in the change.
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