Implementing a successful contingent workforce strategy is not for the faint of heart. It requires a steely resolve and a precise blend of innovation, practicality, grace and finesse. Every person in this business can tell a story of a doomed implementation that was blown off course and into an all-out mutiny by a lone, resistant stakeholder. The challenge is to make the right change, at the right time, with the full support of key personnel. Push too hard in the wrong direction and the results can be devastating. So what’s a company supposed to do? Answer: Make impactful change with strategy and intelligence.
The change implementation protocols our team uses today have evolved as the result of supervising hundreds of implementations over our 40+ year history. Over time these processes have been refined to reflect what we have learned so we can better serve our Clients. To that end, we have identified four key implementation phases that move staff from resistance to acceptance: Awareness, Understanding, Involvement and ultimately, Ownership.
For each phase there are some important best practices that you can easily apply to your own implementation. The goal is to have a smoother, easier transition that will allow you to take your organization to the next level.
Phase 1 – Awareness
- Gather information about your audience; know their wants and needs
- Create a name for the proposed changes that is easily recognized by the target audience
- Build the project timeline and objectives for each phase
- Share timeline and metrics
- Communicate business imperative
Phase 2 – Understanding
- Publicize transition timelines
- Promote transition support structure
- Explain how change will affect each department and individual; focus on the needs of the individual
- Provide key stakeholders with a detailed understanding about specific changes and how the changes will affect them and their department specifically
Phase 3 – Involvement
- Facilitate the sharing of expectations between team members
- Focus on helping those who are resistant to the change
- Train users about new policies and provide opportunities to cross train
- Recognize project milestones and contributions of key audiences
Phase 4 – Ownership
- Visibly celebrate successes
- Gather change requests
- Identify best practices and opportunities to further improve processes
- Recognize and share success stories with the entire organization
The right change management plan can make the difference between success and failure; between moving forward and getting left behind. By taking the time to anticipate the obstacles that might arise and taking practical steps to increase the chance of buy-in, you can dramatically improve your outcome to steer your business in the right direction.