Change management – what can go wrong? 

If the only things that can be guaranteed in life are death and taxes, then why are businesses not better prepared for change? Poor change management can impact employee morale, productivity and, ultimately, the bottom line.  
Here are five common mistakes companies make when introducing change, and how to mitigate them.  

1) Acting too quickly

While few management consultants support analysis paralysis as a strategy, making a snap decision in a time of crisis isn’t a good move either. Ask yourself why this change is necessary. Look at the data, do your research, garner expert opinion. There is no way you can manage change effectively unless it comes from a place of knowledge and confidence it will work. 

2) Not developing a clear communication plan

Once you and the rest of the senior team understand the ‘why’ of the change, tell everyone else effectively. Don’t just expect key information to trickle down, write the process in to the change management structure. You need your staff behind this move for it to work. Scaffold managers to communicate this change to their teams, and offer a feedback loop for staff. Make sure you are educating your people about the change, not just telling them about it. 

3) Misunderstanding the Change Curve

 Like the five stages of grief, there are six stages of the emotional response to change: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Everyone in an organisation will experience all of these before they can commit to the change. Understanding this allows you to prepare for it. What that preparation looks like will depend on the change you are making. If you are announcing redundancy, for example, you might want to give all staff access to counselling. If you are changing site, give staff an opportunity to take ownership of that process to expedite acceptance. 

4) Not providing adequate training

Change to an organisation usually means change to the way employees work, and yet many companies don’t invest in the upskilling process. Whether it is legislative compliance or a new content management system, staff need the safety net offered by training – don’t just assume they will pivot without support. 

5) Don’t think change ends with change

Change itself is a stepping stone, not the goal. If you focus all your attention on making the change, your business will lack direction after the initial implementation. Plan what happens after the change is made. What are your business goals? How will company culture be adjusted? Have you considered the impact on staff and how to support them? Understand where you want your business to be in the next 18 to 36 months. Make sure you have KPI’s in place to ensure projected ROI is achieved. 


If you need help with change management, contact the experts at CDL Insight Consulting. Make change an opportunity for business growth and success with the right tools and knowledge.