Skip to content

4 Change Management Strategies For The New Year

The new year is the time when a lot of organizations start to focus on new initiatives. That might mean a company-wide health challenge, or a new software system for your department.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for industry news, regulatory changes, tips,  and resources

It’s easy to get caught up in the fresh start excitement, but this can fade quickly if you don't have a good plan for managing the change. Let’s look at four change management strategies that will help the change go as smoothly as possible:

1. Have a plan

Every trip starts with a roadmap. Yet, many organizations jump right to implementing a new initiative without taking the time to establish a plan for how they’ll go about managing the change. 

Organizations that have a change management plan are statistically more likely to succeed than those who don’t. The plan should include not only how you’ll implement the change, but also any potential roadblocks and how you will handle them. By anticipating obstacles, you’ll be in a much better position to prevent them from derailing your plan

2. Get buy-in from executives

Over half (54%) of executives don’t believe their company’s strategy will be successful. Knowing this, it’s no surprise that half of change initiatives fail before they even get off the ground. 

Executive buy-in is essential for any major organizational change — and not just because they hold the purse strings. If executives believe in the change, they’re more likely to promote it to employees at every level of the organization. It’s important to help your executives become change champions and understand the role they play in the new initiative. 

3. Identify your change champions

In addition to lack of executive buy-in, employee resistance is the other major reason that change efforts fail. In fact, 26% of companies cited ‘resistance to change’ as one of the top challenges for their transformation initiatives.

This is where change champions come in. Change champions are people who volunteer to help promote a change. They understand and believe in the change, and are eager to convince other employees to believe in it too. By identifying your change champions, you can overcome resistance and get employees on board with your new initiative. 

4. Start small

Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort to change the way your company has done something — especially if you’ve been doing it that way for the last five, ten, or fifteen years. 

Instead of trying to make a big change all at once, start with the smallest step you want people to take. For example, this might mean implementing just one feature of a new software system at first. Not only are small changes a lot easier for people to digest, they also help build momentum that will sustain your organization throughout the change. 

Jumpstart your new initiative

By creating a plan, getting executive buy-in, identifying change champions, and starting small, you can give your new initiative the best chance of success. More tips to jumpstart your department for the new year right this way.

New call-to-action