NAVIGATING WORKPLACE CHANGE

My Paper (Chinese) - - 本地 新闻 - BY IVAN PHUA

C.H.A.N.G.E. As effective leaders, you need to understand how to manage change, a skill that is essential when working in the rapidly changing business environment. You identify the external and internal forces that cause change. You master the skills to understand how others react to change and how to effectively lead them. You champion change initiatives in your organisation and work to change the culture.

CHALLENGES. The effects of globalisation and the constant innovation of technology result in a constantly growing and fast changing business environment. Social media and mobile adaptability have transformed businesses and the effect of this is an ever increasing demand for change. The secondary effect due to the growth in technology also see an increasing availability and accountability of knowledge. Easily accessible information has resulted in unprecedented scrutiny from stakeholders and the media leading to pressure on the management. HAPPENING. With so much change experienced in the business environment, organisations must then learn to become comfortable and adapt to change. Therefore, the skill to manage and adapt to organisational change is an essential skill required in the workplace today. Yet, rapid systemic change is immensely difficult because the structure, culture, and routine of organisations are resistant to essential change even as the current environment of the organisation changes. Due to the growth of technology, most organisational change is largely motivated by external influence rather than internal factors. When these developments occur, the organisations that adapt quickly create a competitive advantage for themselves, while the companies that refuse to change

get left behind. This can result in a devastating loss of profit and/or market share. The entire company must learn how to handle changes to move with the organisation. The effectiveness of how such change is managed can thus have a strong positive or negative impact on employee morale.

ACTION. Changes are required whenever opportunities arise or key issues need to be resolved. Change includes processes, job functions, organisational structures and uses of technologies. It is the employees within your organisation that ultimately need to adapt to the changes. The projects or improvement plans will fail if these individuals are unsuccessful in their personal transitions or do not embrace and learn new ways of working. Change management is a discipline that guides how leaders prepare, equip and support the individuals to succeed in adapting to change in order to drive organisational success. There are actions you can take to influence your employees’ transitions. Change management provides a structured approach to support the individuals to move to desired future states. NECESSITY. Change happens around us as the organisation embarks on new projects, initiates enhancements, increases its competitive advantage and embrace new technologies. To achieve all these, people are involved. The way they are impacted ultimately determines the success rate. Nowadays, organisations face changes that are faster, more complex, more interdependent and more cross-functional. Organisations must gear up for multiple changes in order to achieve their strategic vision. Applying

change management enables them to deliver results more effectively and build competencies that increases the capacity to handle future challenges. It focuses on helping people change how they work. GROWTH. Very often, organisations focus on the solution rather than the benefits of it. You can help to close this gap by effectively supporting and equipping people impacted by the change. Failed projects are usually a result of employee disengagements. Customers feel the impact when this occurs. Failing to plan and address the people factor of change is extremely costly and change management is key in helping to mitigate these mission-critical risks.

ENGAGE. Change management eradicates the chance of failure by providing employees with adequate preparation, support and skills needed to succeed in the change. Very often, you hear, “Our employees are our most valuable asset”. So when it comes to implementing change, you need to proactively engage and support your employees throughout the process and walk the talk. All workshops organised by STJobs qualify for tax savings under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme*. *Subject to terms and conditions under the PIC scheme.

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