2019-02-11 09:01:09 Brenda Fox, IT & Technology Writer
Change Management, Meet Change Analytics
Compared to the average of leaders in every other function, HR leaders say they are 36% less effective at anticipating and reacting to high-speed change.
Organizational Change Management has become “data-driven”
5 ways change analytics can help leaders better manage people and save money
While the field of Human Resources (HR) has made great strides in recent decades, Change Management as a profession has never truly been data-driven because so many change-related topics have involved behavioral and attitudinal factors that are difficult to measure such as culture, leadership motivation, and commitment. Most leaders understand intuitively that these “soft factors” are important (e.g., it’s hard to get people to do things they don’t want to do and its challenging lead teams that are opposed to transition efforts) but these have never readily yielded themselves to empirical analysis. This made it difficult to analyze or validate cause-and-effect relationships, set up controlled experiments, and clearly demonstrate how change interventions deliver meaningful outcomes.
In the past, most change management models were deeply rooted in research that sought to explain how small groups adapt to workplace change. At that time, change professionals operated as artists and not scientists making it difficult to reach a high level of professionalism and attract the funding and resources required for getting the best change outcomes. While the change management profession is still in flux, the tide is beginning to shift.
Advancements in technology aided by big data have made many of these once-hidden dynamics significantly more data-driven creating the possibility for an intersection between change management and change analytics. Change management is in the midst of a shift from intuition to more feedback and data-based decision-making approaches, with program managers at the forefront of this shift. This move to a data-centric approach will shift change management from an art to a science, where change leaders can now rely on data to examine, inform and iterate their change management approach and strategies. Instead of waiting to get data themselves, employers can make use of data from mobile phones and other devices to collect feedback and manage change. These capabilities come at a critical time as a recent report found that HR leaders feel they are:
36% less effective at anticipating and reacting to high-speed change,
40% worse at using data to guide business decisions, and
57% worse than their non-HR counterparts at operating in a highly digital environment
Now, more than ever, HR and Change Managers need the right tools to better predict and manage workplace change.
Retail professionals make use of demographic data to predict sales and develop future sales plans. Leaders at banks and financial institutions leverage predictive analysis that tells what customers are most likely to return. Now change leaders have tools to collect workers’ feedback, benchmark the results, predict likely future behaviors and attitudes, beginning-to-end, of the full lifecycle of their change projects.
The Great Shift
Change management is in the midst of a transition from an intuition-based approach to more data-centric decision-making that puts change managers on the front line. Businesses can now rely on data to inform and examine their change strategies because data removes the guesswork from the decision-making process around how to get people to commit to and buy-in to workplace change.
However, to remain competitive and innovative, businesses need to leverage data at the core of their change management processes. This is done by deploying platforms that ensure they can collect and act on critical employee feedback data. Unfortunately, many organizations are not yet up to this challenge and only firms that set themselves apart by collecting the right kind of change data and investing in their change analytics will meet this standard.
5 Steps to Better Manage Change and Save Money Using Change Data and Analytics
For businesses to save and manage money better using change data and analytics, hereare some steps to take:
Use technology to collect feedback: One easy way to collect data is by making it easy for those who are impacted by workplace change to share their opinions about changes that are taking place. Giving workers the option to share and requesting their feedback provides insight on what they feel about the firm and areas they want the organization to improve.
Track organizational performance using reference “benchmark” data: Most leaders already track key organizational performance metrics by capturing data on sales, inventory, and operational efficiency. By applying this same rigor to worker and leader sentiments around major organizational changes, it will be easier for leaders to have the right predictive models for organizational change effectiveness.
Encourage use of digital engagement tools: With rapid advancements in technology, there are new sets of digital engagement tools that organizations can employ when seeking opinions from their workers. These tools help change leaders predict whether the change is heading in the right direction or received is equal across all locations, and provide real-time feedback; such tools include Team polls, sampling groups of employees on smartphone apps that can help generate real-time insights and creating ongoing conversations with team members using free Apps like WhatsApp. Deploying these tools are critical for any organization that wants to save money and ensure success using data-driven change initiatives.
Collect and Use data throughout change projects: It is also vital for leaders to make use of data-driven models when identifying key messages and communications for change initiatives. Applying the right tools when designing change plans will help improve project performance and create a new sets of skills.
Build a priority dashboard: Leveraging a dashboard will help organizations reflect on their priorities, create workable plans, and better understand what areas to improve in the future.
Finally, change data and analytics is critical for every organization that wants to save money and improve financial performance. With the right data, change managers can confidently build more accurate models and prescribe strategies that will help organizations meet their needs.
About Brenda Fox and The Change Shop™
Brenda Fox is a prolific writer whose work spans a broad range of subjects, but she is particularly passionate about the IT and the Tech sector. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling the globe in search of new adventures.
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