Companies missing out on benefits of change due to poor management Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Many companies miss out on the benefits of policy, process or system changes they implement in their companies because they do not adequately manage change, CEO of Transformational Life Solutions, a life and business coaching and consulting firm, Cordell Williams says.

Williams, who also serves as president of the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA),said it is critical that companies not only sensitize their staff about the changes but actually seek their feedback and act accordingly.

“It is important to manage change…people (staff) have to adjust to all the changes, and they are also the ones that need to sustain the change so that you can actually realize the benefits. This will not happen without the people having the capacity and capability to deal with all the changes and be able to shift as you are shifting the processes, policies or systems of your business,” the consultant said.

Williams has worked with many individuals, entrepreneurs and business teams across Jamaica, the Caribbean and the US to realise their goals and transform their lives, careers and businesses.

She advises companies to be mindful of the impact of changes such as the introduction of a new manager.

“For example, the person will come with different values and productivity targets that people have to meet. It will call for a shift in how they (staff) behave,” she said.

“Often, the cause for resistance is that the people-side of things is not handled properly since change may cause people to have to shift their goals and aspirations in some cases,” she said.

“For example, suppose somebody was expecting a promotion, and you change up the department. The employee will have to make an aspirational shift,” she explained.

Where systems of processes are being changed, companies should remember, “when you ask persons to change, you may have resistance, and you may not realise the benefits from all the investments that you are making”.

“I think this resistance comes from the approach that leaders and companies use to drive change,” the business coach said.

Williams was speaking based on her years of experience in the field of transformation and change management.

The approach of the leadership to the change process is, therefore critical”, she said.

“Some companies push compliance and drive fear in their employees or they drive change through excitement with rewards,” she said.

Using rewards to drive change is “unsustainable and will not lead to sustained adoption from the staff – who are the true drivers of change,” she said.

“I think as a country, and from a corporate standpoint, we have not been handling change management well. The approach that has been taken is we set up teams that give us anecdotal, subjective measures about how people feel about change. Then we set up a sensitization plan to drive people’s awareness, and not necessarily to hear from the people how they feel about change and get their input,” she said.

This kind of approach leads to fluctuating levels of resistance, she said.

Another repercussion of ineffectively managing change is overlooking the impact of middle managers in coalescing staff, she said.

Williams suggests a holistic or integrated approach that accounts for all facets of change management.