CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN A DIGITAL AGE

6 November, 2018

Digital transformation is changing the business landscape across all industries from retail and hospitality, to banking and other professional services. Advancements in technology are pushing organizations to re-think current ways of working, change their business models and customer experiences.

Decisions need to be made quicker, and implementation of strategy in shorter time frames to remain competitive and sustain business growth. Change management is a pre-requisite for any transformation to take place. Effective change management, coupled with readily available digital tools, can bridge the gap between leaders and employees, motivating them to adapt to a more flexible and collaborative way of working, and achieve business goals and objectives.

Without change management, transformation fails

The lack of engagement is often the cause for transformation program failures. To ensure successful delivery, change management must be at the forefront of an organization’s agenda and perceived as a significant part of strategy to drive its vision. Harnessing new digital tools such as communication platforms, apps and automation can also accelerate the adoption of transformation.

Here are the four ways which change management can facilitate business transformation:

#1 Building a community

Community is essential to the success of organizational change and transformation. A committed community enhances learning, elevates innovation and creativity and enables your people to quickly solve problems in the workplace. In any given transformation program, having shared goals and vision strengthen morale, loyalty and propel your people to embrace change.

#2 Engaging in dialogue and driving momentum

Management should actively engage with employees on a regular basis and at every level to build a strong relationship to drive momentum. Integrating different communication methods to specific employee groups reassure employees that the organization is making extra effort to create dialogues, collect valuable feedback and is ready to provide answers, removing the fear and resistance to change as well as barriers.

Employing new digital tools can build momentum with real time updates, create two-way conversation and a more ‘instant’ way of communicating.

#3 Fostering the right environment

While many organizations willingly invest a lot in digital tools to transform their business, the importance of training up employees to make the best use of these tools is often overlooked. This could lead to employees feeling unsure of their future in the company and even resistant to go digital. An essential component of change management is to foster an environment where learning is encouraged and form integral parts of the organization’s wider strategy.  It is only in such a nurturing environment will employees see the benefits of digital tools in aiding them to succeed.

#4 Keeping plans flexible

Undergoing a digital transformation in this business climate is not a single solution for organizations to turn around their business. What’s important is that organizations act upon feedback from employees, learn from competitors, and adapt their set plans accordingly. As part of the change management strategy, an organization will need to be nimble and able to rework key priorities, speed up the pace of change or target certain groups before others when required. This shows employees that the organization is not rigid, and when initial plans are not effective, it will exercise flexibility on processes and tools accordingly.

Change management enables successful business transformation because it strengthens the human side of businesses - its people. The four ways highlighted above ensure a business changes from within, and succeeds in building a conducive working environment. Businesses need to achieve a harmonious balance between the organization and employees’ goals so they can collaborate effectively as one.

Read more about how Arcadis can support your business in developing, and implementing successful workplace transformation strategies by downloading the latest capability statement 'Workplace Strategy and Transformation' here.

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Leonia Lee

Associate Director 852 2911 2000 Ask me a question