What does a change manager do? (With levels and advantages)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Organisations go through changes and transitions, all in a bid to boost performance, address major issues, take advantage of opportunities or give the organisation a form of leverage over other companies. The company often requires changes to job positions, the structure of the organisation or the uses and types of technology so it can advance. While it may appear to be that the organisation itself is what witnesses the change, the truth is that the employees are the ones going through the changes. In this article, we explore what change management is and what the change manager does.

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What does a change manager do?

A change manager builds a change management process, ensuring the employees are well informed about the changes that take place and providing employees with the tools needed for changes made. The change manager consistently checks to see how changes affect employees, checking for the risk or success attached to the changes made. If risks are observed due to the changes made, the change manager informs the organisation. If the changes made are successful, the change manager measures the success.

What is change management?

Change management refers to the process where resources, strategies and tools are employable to enable the employees of an organisation to effectively prepare for the period of transition within the company. The organisation often carefully establishes this plan to ensure individuals of the company are able to easily embrace, inculcate and properly implement the change that has taken place within the organisation. For change management to be effective, some skills are involved:

  • effective communication and comprehensive plans for training

  • complete management of potential resistance

  • a diligent guide of employees towards a fruitful transition

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Levels of change management

There are three major levels of change management: the individual level, the organisational level and the enterprise level. These levels all affect change management and the proper implementation of change.

Individual change management

Individual change management has to do with each employee's clear understanding of the intended change. It has to do with the employees being on the same page with the organisation and recognising why the change is necessary. This level of change management is important as it helps carry employees along and gets them on board with the proposed change. Individual change management consists of a few steps:

  1. recognising what can help each employee make a positive transition

  2. communicating the intended change to each employee, emphasising the goals and expected results

  3. keeping up with the communication about each stage of the intended change

  4. making training opportunities available to help employees keep up with the pace

  5. explaining the benefits of the change to employees to help them embrace it

Related: How To Overcome Resistance To Change at Work in 6 Steps

Organisational change management

Organisational change management has to do with the established plans the company puts in place to implement the change. These plans and strategies help the company efficiently advance with the intended change and plans. Larger organisations have department managers and team leads who handle the organisational change by taking care of individual training. The steps involved in establishing organisational change are:

  1. create groups within the organisation for the employees who benefit most from the change

  2. outline clearly stated goals and objectives

  3. provide a definite statement of the process's ultimate goal

  4. set up a personalised action plan for employees to easily adhere by

  5. ensure all staff members involve themselves at every stage of the change

  6. encourage employees to give reviews, ask questions and contributions to the change process

Enterprise change management

Enterprise change management has to do with inculcating the change into the organisation's core values. By doing this, the change automatically becomes the company's culture. Enterprise change management helps the organisation:

  • operate in a different way from other competitors in the market, since it always adapts to change

  • boost the organisation's major advantages

  • increase the level of employee effectiveness and efficiency

  • help employees learn how to optimise job performance in their unique job roles within the organisation

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Advantages of change management

As established earlier, there are several advantages of change management. Some include:

  • leads to a better customer experience

  • provides more support for suppliers

  • leads to an increase in profitability and productivity, for both employees and the company at large

  • fosters consistent communication and information for major stakeholders, encouraging them to go for meetings and address major issues concerning the change

  • gives employees higher morale and motivates them, as this guarantees them of management's support

  • helps with employee retention and engagement

  • gives organisations a chance to earn more profit

  • gives an organisation a competitive advantage

  • provides an organisation with the opportunity to easily meet customers' demands faster than normal

  • brings resources together within the organisation for the greater good

  • gives the company an edge over future challenges and obstacles

  • provides the opportunity for leadership development within the organisation

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How to conduct effective change management

Before you can conduct effective change management within your organisation or company, there are some steps to follow:

1. Recognise the needs of the company

Do research on what your company's unique needs are and find out what could improve if your company adopted a change. Carry out a proper identification of the particular areas that require improvement. This helps the team set up the appropriate strategies and goals to advance the company towards its vision. While identifying the company's needs, also identify the resources required to make the change a success.

2. Present a good business case to stakeholders

After identifying the challenges and needed resources, the next thing to do is to present a solid case to the major stakeholders. These include those who qualify as upper management, such as investors, who have a direct influence over your organisation. The major goal of your case is to sell the idea of a change to your stakeholders, as you need their acceptance to move forward. When they approve and support your case, you are on your way to a smooth transition process.

3. Make a plan for the change

After the approval of your stakeholders, you can begin to plan effectively to make your change happen. Identify the first steps and follow through until the process is complete. Your change plan shows the resources you plan to use and the methods you hope to employ. The plan also highlights the cost, scope and risks involved in the change, stating the steps the company is to follow until every phase is completed.

4. Make provisions for the needed resources

It is important to provide the needed resources and funding required for the change to happen. This is why this step is crucial. Without this step, you are unable to meet up with your vision. Other resources to make provision for, including training tools and educational facilities.

5. Set up a communication strategy

A communication strategy plays a vital role in seeing through with the successful implementation of the change. You want your employees and stakeholders to be kept abreast of the latest developments and changes. This communication strategy does just that. Leaders are to submit regular situation reports to appropriate leaders within the organisation and inform employees of the latest developments.

6. Observe any form of resistance and manage the resistance

Among staff members, there might be some form of resistance as some might object to the change and encourage other employees to join them. By effectively managing this, you are able to secure the success of the change. The resistance is mostly because of the fear of the unknown employees might have, but by understanding this fear and approaching them directly and tactfully, you can manage the situation. While managing this, it is crucial to listen to employees' opinions and understand their reasons for resisting. Your understanding of their mindsets helps you solve the problem and meet their needs.

7. Individuals and teams after major successes

It is important that leaders and employers recognise individuals who contribute majorly to success. Teams who perform well are to be recognised and appreciated, as this encourages them and motivates the other members of the company.

8. Review the process

At every point in time, it is important to review the process and measure progress. This helps you observe how far you have come and how far is essential for you to go. The periodic reviews also help you identify problems and obstacles you need to tackle and the strengths and advantages that have come with the change.

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