Reasons Why Change Management Is Unsuccessful
Large enterprise organizations commonly struggle with change. Large-scale technology shifts, such as moving a company over to G Suite, can lead to resistance from employees. A change like this can affect a company’s culture, employee satisfaction, and productivity. Reports show that 75% (Forbes) of change management initiatives fail. Below are the most common reasons there is resistance toward change.
- Ineffective or Disengaged Sponsorship: The people executing the change in the organization often are not the most influential people, since they tend to be handpicked by management and based on seniority. These executive sponsors may not be bought-in to the change initiative and are therefore not seen as an advocate. This is critical to successful change.
- Lack of Communication: The strategic vision behind the change is not effectively communicated to the broader company. Furthermore, complaints and reasons for the resistance to change are not properly addressed.
- Employee Resistance: In organizations where there is a more rigid work style, there will more than likely be resistance to significant change. Employees are accustomed to the old way of doing things, so they must see that the benefits outweigh the challenges of changing their behavior.
- Middle Management Resistance: The trickle-down effect isn’t working. According to a Towers Watson survey, 68% of senior managers said they’re “getting the message” about reasons for major organizational changes, but that figure falls to 53% for middle managers and 40% for front-line supervisors. Companies need to train all employees more effectively and understand the best ways to engage and communicate with employees.
- Project Efforts Not Maintained in the Long Run: There are no quick fixes. Employers felt that 55% of change management initiatives met initial objectives, but only 25% felt gains were sustained over time (Towers Watson survey). Substantial organizational change requires long-term support and continued advocacy.
- Insufficient Project Resourcing: Large-scale organizational transformation requires the right people. Change requires dedicated personnel – people who have time within their normal working hours to design, plan, and coordinate a transformative change process. They must have an appreciation and an understanding of what change management is, the need for it, the right skills, and the experience to successfully implement and embed the change.
Maven Wave’s Approach to G Suite Enterprise Change Management
Maven Wave puts a great deal of emphasis on developing successful change management programs for our clients. We include a dedicated change management lead on each G Suite deployment, who oversees change activities all the way from the planning phase through implementation. We are constantly learning from our past experiences and applying this knowledge to improve our efforts so that our clients don’t experience resistance to change within their organizations. After all, projects with excellent change management programs are six times more likely to meet or exceed their objectives (Prosci).
When a company is switching to G Suite, there are several different types of change to be managed. As with any new tool, it will take some time for users to get up to speed with the new features and functions, new policies, and processes. Keeping in mind the different types of change to be managed, Maven Wave deploys a 4-phased change management methodology:
- Sponsorship & Engagement: Get the right team in place to ensure success and engage employees in the initiative so they feel a sense of ownership.
- No change initiative will be successful without the continued support of an executive sponsor who understands the value of the tool – this is our first step.
- We then identify a representative sample of employees to serve as influencers to form a change agent network. These will serve as on-the-floor ambassadors, counselors, educators, and general go-to people and will help to minimize employee resistance.
- Transformation & Organization Analysis: Understand the impact of change and identify opportunities for transformation.
- It’s important to understand how the change will impact each user group within the company. There will be special cases, average users, and early adopters, all of whom will be impacted differently.
- We then conduct working sessions with users to capture use cases for how Google can improve the way employees work, which can be used in training.
- Training: Give users the skills to be successful with the new tool.
- Maven Wave provides various training formats around go-live time that cater to different learning styles – onsite instructor-led training, webinars, recordings, self-service, VIP white glove training, etc.
- We also host tips & tricks session after go-live for ongoing learning and to focus on user adoption and the long-term success of the project.
- Communication: Ensure users understand the benefits and reasons for the change.
- It’s important to create a positive internal perception of the initiative and to build excitement. Communication should be targeted and occur at the right time.
- We recommend a variety of communication and marketing channels: email, company intranet, posters, digital signage, videos, blogs, custom Google Sites, giveaways, events, etc. It should be fun and tailored towards what works for the various user types.
In our experience, following these 4-phases allow us to facilitate successful change events for our clients because it addresses all the major reasons for resistance to change.
Learn more about change management in our blog post, Identifying Change Agents, where we focus on how organizations can leverage people analytics to identify influencers who can facilitate the engagement phase and increase the likelihood of change management success.
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