Strategies for Navigating the Top 3 Enterprise Change Management Challenges in 2022

/ Christine Andrukonis

As we discussed in our last blog, organizations of all types are finding themselves pushed to navigate major changes as a result of the volatility that has been shaking up traditional work models. Companies have had to create online solutions for customer and employee interactions, develop strategies for increasing efficiency through digital transformation, and construct employee engagement plans for employees who are demanding a better life-work balance.

Navigating all of these changes at once is a tall order, but leaders concerned that the nature of work is changing faster than they can adapt can take a deep breath. The good news is that clear, proven strategies for managing these changes already exist. Notion, in its Change 2020 study, highlighted 10 key strategies for enterprise change management that leaders can effectively apply today.

Change 1: Digital transformation

As we mentioned in our previous post, digital transformations have become a larger, more complex, and more immediate need for organizations pushed to shift to predominantly online strategies for both internal and customer-facing interactions. To keep from being overwhelmed by these projects, leadership must keep their focus on the people they serve.

There are a few key ways to do this. First, remember that involvement equals commitment. The people whose roles will be transformed by the digital transformation must be part of the process guiding your enterprise change management efforts. Ownership of change can strengthen support, speed user adoption, and identify opportunities for process change that you might not otherwise consider.

In addition, leaders must make transformation meaningful. The transformation must create value for the people who will need to adopt the new technology. Leaders can put themselves in the shoes of the stakeholders who will adopt the technology by building a plan based on roles’ personas. These personas should include the individuals’ experience as it relates to pain points and motivations.

Finally, leaders must remember that humility drives greatness. To secure input from all stakeholders, change leaders must acknowledge what they don’t know and be comfortable with being challenged.

Change 2. Organizational structures

To achieve the full promise of digital improvements, organizations must be willing to reinvent their operating models. More agile organizational structures will be necessary to free up resources that support the innovation and reinvention required for organizations to survive and thrive. While this may seem a daunting undertaking, three principles outlined by the Change 2020 study can guide your enterprise change management endeavor.

First, it’s critical to remember that cost-cutting is not transformation. Cutting people, processes, and costs will not transform your operating model. Leaders driving transformation and change will have to balance cost-cutting measures with investment in new strategic priorities.

In addition, organizations must race against pace. This means learning to make decisions fast and to act even faster. To compete, it will be important to fail fast and pivot quickly with new insight. Finally, don’t lose sight of the fact that the struggle is real. Change is never easy, and moving jobs around or consolidating roles will create anxiety among employees. Beginning your change process with empathy for everyone involved will create a smoother transition and prevent a negative impact on your brand.

Change 3: The employer-employee relationship

As organizations strive to reintroduce some level of in-person experience post-COVID, many are focused on policy, but a policy update isn’t what transformation is really about.

Instead of focusing on the specifics of a hybrid workforce, take this time as an opportunity to learn more about your employees’ values and how you might connect these values to the work experience. What makes people love working for your organization? What do you offer that aligns with their values?

The Change 2020 study offers one key principle that can help guide the transformation needed to support these values: Real change requires more than hearts and minds. Real change requires energy. Leaders can focus their energy on taking action to ensure that the values that retain top talent are built into the fabric of everything that people are doing at your organization.

Get ready to transform

Change is never easy, but it is manageable when you have a plan in place for forward movement and trusted partners to guide your enterprise change management planning. If you’re ready to take the next step and begin your transformation, we can help. Contact Notion Consulting today.