In our interconnected economy, organisations are faced with continually evolving technology and shifts in market conditions. Everything from political and economic conditions to natural disasters and pandemics has the potential to derail business operations.
In order to survive, organisations must constantly re-evaluate their business model and adapt. However, people tend to feel threatened by change and implementing it can be accompanied by stress, uncertainty and poor communication. An effective change management strategy is an essential component of navigating any challenges and undertaking initiatives to improve an organisation’s performance.
What is the role of a change manager?
A change manager plans, initiates, supervises, monitors and delivers operational changes in a business. Their ultimate goal is to make complex change easy for all stakeholders and achieve operational success.
It is essentially a people-facing role aimed at encouraging buy-in from the workforce on an individual level. If your employees are unsuccessful in adapting to changes and don’t embrace the new way of working, the initiative will fail. So a change manager’s main role is to convince employees that change is necessary. A change manager will focus on changes to workflow processes, systems, technology, job roles and organisation structures.
Business change managers’ roles are constantly developing. They are often disguised by other job titles such as communications manager, employee engagement manager, head of people, business transformation manager and relationship manager. The business change manager role encompasses more than a single change. It involves identifying and managing multiple aspects of change to achieve a significant transformation in a company’s business model.
Digital transformation is one of the most common reasons behind organisational change. Many companies are initiating organisation-wide digital transformations, particularly after the COVID-19 era’s shift to remote working. Even before the pandemic, 89% of digital decision-makers claimed their industry was facing disruption by digital technology. Digital change managers fulfil a more specific role designed to facilitate a move to new systems and digital ways of working.
What are the responsibilities of a change manager?
Business and digital change managers must ensure change initiatives meet objectives on time and within budget. They take on many responsibilities in delivering change, including communications, stakeholder engagement, impact assessment, organisational readiness analysis and training.
Their tasks include analysing operations, developing a change plan, communicating with staff and transferring information and documents. Change managers estimate the costs and impact of any planned changes. They also evaluate the advantages and risks involved in any change strategy and define success metrics to measure performance.
Change managers work with employees across all levels of an organisation. C-suite executives and senior stakeholders benefit from their guidance, coaching and support to instil change in their teams. Business change managers also directly support project teams to make sure they integrate change management activities into their project plans. It isn’t necessary to have change management certification or accreditation, but it is becoming more common.
What skills does a change manager require?
People are at the heart of workplace change. Above all, a business change manager needs persuasive communication skills to encourage employees to embrace change. Employee resistance and lack of management support are cited as major obstacles. Good listening and communication skills are key to fostering trust and earning buy-in on an individual, team and company-wide level.
Employees often fear change and see it as a threat to their income and career paths. When people are uncomfortable with change, it can cause stress and negatively affect productivity. Business change managers should communicate the process transparently and regularly otherwise people tend to imagine worst-case scenarios.
Change managers need to completely understand change management principles and techniques. They also need advanced critical thinking, problem-solving skills and project management experience. Unexpected challenges can accompany change so the ability to work under pressure is also essential. Strong stakeholder management, conflict resolution and negotiation skills help smooth the process.
How working with an agency can support your requirements for change management
Recruitment agencies can assist you by resourcing all kinds of change management programmes. They have access to qualified industry experts and digital change managers who deliver cross-functional business transformation with minimal disruption.
BlackCode takes the time to understand each client’s requirements and provide the highest quality candidates to help with change management. We maintain relationships with a network of highly experienced change management specialists, who implement and embed change within organisations.
Speak to an Expert today
Badly managed change can have a harmful and long-lasting effect on your business. We offer the resources and techniques to deliver highly customised and transformational change management programmes.
Find out how we can support your business through change. Speak to one of our experts today.