How Can Change Readiness Assessments Support Organizational Growth
As companies implement their global business strategies, “change” occurs every day. But how much time is given to make “change” effective? Change requires careful pre-planning prior to implementation; it must be managed to mitigate short-term challenges and to prepare for long-term impact; as an effective business and HR Tool, Change readiness assessments provide companies the ability to identify gaps and potential obstacles in the change process. It also prepares the company and its workforce to adopt new practices and systems in a comprehensive, meaningful way. What are Change Readiness Assessments? Change readiness assessments evaluate a company’s preparedness to conduct a change initiative successfully. This includes assessing the company’s capacity, resources, and culture to handle the change. It reviews the company’s environment, processes, workforce, and resources. It analyzes current state, what it will take to move forward with the change and identify potential risks and challenges that could occur from implementing the change. Change readiness assessments look at: • The health of the organization • Senior leadership viewpoints, culture, and style • Managers’ requirements to lead the change • The workforce’s readiness for the change • The workforce’s reaction to the change and their ability to adopt and adapt to the change Change readiness assessments are managed as projects, having start and end dates. At a minimum, they have project charters, specific team members (representing the various teams involved in the change), a design strategy for the change, why the change is necessary, how and when it will occur. Executive sponsorship and buy-in is important throughout the process. An important outcome should be a communication, training, coaching, and sponsorship plan. Assessments as a Company’s Barometer Before any change occurs, look at the whole company and take a culture check of the organization. Make certain there is a thorough understanding of the company, who its competitors are, and its current and desired position in the marketplace. Understanding the company internally and externally will help clarify how to position the change required. What is leaderships’ style, managers’ readiness for change, the company’s current HR practices, and most importantly, the workforce capacity for change. This overall “company barometer” will not only fine tune “how” to implement change but provide valuable insight into the best way to communicate it. Understanding Change How can a company know the best way to manage the required change? By defining the scope, size, depth of the change. By also ask what will happen if the change does not occur? By targeting which groups and what will be impacted (employee groups, type/s of technology that are available and need improving) is critical to determine readiness. Identify the timeframe needed and what kind of sponsorship is required to support the change. The Importance of Data Collection Data collection about all levels within the organization will help move the proposed change forward. Change readiness assessments use workforce interviews and various surveys (employee, managers, and leadership) to collect the data. Analyzing the answers provided will be invaluable when preparing for the change. Survey questions should focus on the intended change, why it is happening, and what it means to each group, their peers, management, and leadership. Survey questions need to provide answers on how the workforce perceives the organization, its culture and leadership style, as well as how the change may impact to the worker’s lifestyle. Once data collection is complete and the data analyzed the assessment process sets the stage for the company’s larger change management strategy to move forward.
The Future of Work Change readiness assessments help companies grow their business and implement their business strategies. They evaluate a company’s ability to adapt new practices and look for potential areas that may impact the change. Comprehensive strategies for change allow for all levels in the organization to prepare for the actual process it will undergo, increasing the success of the actual change. Our Expertise MSI’s Consulting and Advisory Team are experts in Organization Change Readiness Assessments and Analysis as part of our comprehensive Strategic Workforce Planning solution. Our focus is helping organizations optimize and develop long-range strategies for success.