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Where Can You Find Your Business's Levers of Change?

July 7, 2022

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Are you interested in making a change? If you’re like many of us, there are probably quite a few you’d like to see in your business.

When it comes down to it, how you go about implementing these changes can be just as important as which changes you pick in the first place.

In this guide, you’ll learn what levers of change are, why change management is important, and the steps you should take to successfully implement change.

What are the levers of change?

Change is an inevitable part of life — and business.

Every business changes at some point, whether it be in its organizational structure or its business culture.

The process of facilitating change is known as change management, a systematic approach where businesses provide their employees with the resources they require to deal with and adapt to changes. Why do this? Well, you want to make sure your employees aren’t going to be negatively affected and are still able to perform successfully despite the changes.

“Levers of change” are the actions that managers and supervisors of a business take to engage their employees in change, and they’re a crucial part of change management.

According to research by Prosci, there are five levers of change in the fields of communication, training, coaching, and resistance management.

The processes that lead to change are called levers because they involve steps where an action is taken in one particular direction and progress is seen in another.

Are levers of change really important?

Change can be scary. Whether it’s moving to a new country, picking up a new subject, or shuffling things up in a business, the best way to face it is to have a plan.

Having a formula or a set of principles to apply when things are uncertain helps, and this is where levers of change are important.

As a manager or owner of a business, not all of your employees are going to be happy with shifts to the business. It’s human nature to find comfort in situations we are familiar with — even if they’re not always the best solution. This doesn’t mean that change isn’t needed. As a business operating in a dynamic market, you’re going to have to shift priorities and ways of doing things to adapt to environmental and economic climates.

How do I make sure that the changes I make are successful?

To ensure that your employees remain motivated, receptive, and adaptable, you’ll need to carry out change management smoothly.

A woman in a crowd yelling, "Let's go, let's go, let's go!"

It’s important to clearly communicate new changes that are being introduced to your employees to ensure that they’re involved from the start and engaged. Communication is key, as it helps your employees feel like they’re a valuable part of the business. Keeping them informed will also help them adapt much more easily and stay calm under all the pressure that change brings along.

As a changemaker, you must create a framework to deal with resistance to change while you’re introducing new processes. Thinking of solutions to tackle fear or feelings of inadequacy will enable you to resolve issues before they get out of hand. This’ll also help ensure that your business continues to function smoothly, allowing productivity and overall efficiency to keep chugging right along.

Uh-oh: Problems with change.

Without a proper change management strategy, your business might… struggle. If your employees aren’t informed properly or taught how to carry out work under a new business plan, you can count on some less-than-efficient performance. Failing to adapt quickly can lead to issues such as poor customer service that can harm your brand’s image.

A man yelling, "No! God Please! No! No! No!"

Employees who are unaware of what’s going on within the business will feel less empowered, like they’re not suited for the job or don’t have the skills and knowledge required to succeed. This can impact productivity and may even increase staff turnover (yikes).

By now it should be pretty clear that well-planned, systematic change is the key to ensuring that the overall flow of your business is not disrupted. If you want to continue growing and building your market share and influence, any change in your business should be carried out cautiously through a model that outlines the important levers of change.

Which model do I pick? (Don’t worry, this isn’t the Bachelor.)

The Prosci Model.

There are numerous models of change management that you can choose from. Prosci is a popular one.

This model acknowledges that having a communication plan is an integral part of introducing change. It also recognizes that change-makers (such as senior leaders) must actively participate in change while continuously engaging and communicating with employees.

This model also states that training is key to ensuring that new changes are implemented properly. Equipping employees with the right knowledge, tools, and resources is important to creating successful change.

Unfreeze, change, and refreeze.

Lewin’s change management model contains three stages: unfreeze, change, and refreeze.

Unfreeze outlines how businesses should first make their employees understand and accept that change is necessary. Once they begin to understand how the status quo is uncertain and risky, it’s easier to move to the second stage: “change.”

Communicating with your employees and allowing them to actively participate in the gradual changes that are being made can help them accept these shifts and understand that these are solutions to the concerns discussed in the first stage.

Once the change is accepted, the business must “refreeze the third stage in the model. This stage helps employees adopt and internalize the new changes made by mitigating any barriers to change, clarifying doubts, and creating a positive, supportive environment.

A woman releasing a breath and saying, "Embrace the change."

How do I begin applying the levers of change?

Step 1: Understand that one size does not fit all.

Each business differs from the other in terms of the market they operate in, the product or service they offer, and the type of customer they cater. Like snowflakes, no two businesses are exactly alike. Which means you can’t apply the levers of change in the same way.

Let’s look at Lewin’s Model. When unfreezing, some businesses may find that their employees are open to change while other companies may need to engage in continuous communication to emphasize why they need to introduce new processes into the business. Some managers may try to identify key stakeholders within the business and persuade them to adopt the change while others may try to run a campaign throughout the entire organization.

It’s key to know and understand the unique features of your own business in terms of communication, adaptability, and the tools and resources available to carry out change. Once you’ve identified them, it’ll be easier for you to come up with a strong strategy, allowing you to successfully bring about change management.

Step 2: Make use of ready-made templates to guide you through the process.

There are plenty of valuable templates and models out there that can help you introduce change to your business.

The 8-step Kotter Change Model covers the three main aspects of change comprehensively, beginning with creating a climate for change, engaging the members of the organization, and ensuring that change is implemented sustainably.

And it’s easy to follow. As the director or manager of your business, begin by creating a sense of urgency to help your employees understand that change is needed. Engage your employees to bring about a coalition comprising new ideas and leaders. You can discuss your strategic vision with your employees to ensure that they too are willing to work towards change.

Once you’ve done that, you can start removing barriers to change by shifting how work is usually carried out. As change happens, emphasize the small wins your new strategy has brought along in terms of being able to perform better against competitors. This will help motivate your employees to push harder towards adopting these changes.

Step 3: Drop that heart of stone.

Change is an emotional process. Regardless of what models you follow or the level of expertise you have, if you don’t capture your employee's hearts along with their heads, you’ll find it challenging to apply levers of change to your business.

A burning Elmo doll under the banner, "Emotional Damage."

The essence of a business rests on diligent employees who are motivated to carry out its goals and perform to the fullest of their capabilities. When changes are made, the work cycle or flow that they’re accustomed is disrupted. Be patient with your employees. Listen to their concerns and provide them with solutions.

Keep in mind that they might not be able to pick up on things as soon as you want them to. By remaining supportive and compassionate, your employees will eventually come around and embrace the changes made. Failing to lead with empathy can lead to unmotivated and dissatisfied employees who may even end up resigning — and that’s a lose-lose situation, especially if you’re in a tumultuous time of change.

So, are you ready for a change?

Ensuring that change management is a smooth process can be made easier with the help of Trainual.

You can quickly inform your employees about new policies and strategies by creating a business playbook. It’ll outline the important information employees need to know to carry our changes smoothly.

So, how can you create your playbook? Trainual’s got your back. You can make use of the hundreds of templates we have available to create a playbook in a centralized place that everyone can access. Each department head within your business should contribute to the playbook — this is where our subject owner feature comes in handy. You can simply assign particular content to the department heads, allowing them to fill the playbook with details relevant to that department and the whole company.

If you’ve just started your own business, train your employees in a way that encourages a culture of adaptability and a positive mindset so that they’re better prepared to face change. Our website has a ton of training material that you can use along with a wide range of videos, from discussions on how employees can embrace change to webinars on business culture and strategic planning — all of which can help you and your employees successfully apply change.

Get started with Trainual and apply the levers of change to your business today.

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Article

Where Can You Find Your Business's Levers of Change?

July 7, 2022

Jump to a section
Share it!
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You're all signed up! Look out for the next edition of The Manual Weekly coming Wednesday am!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Are you interested in making a change? If you’re like many of us, there are probably quite a few you’d like to see in your business.

When it comes down to it, how you go about implementing these changes can be just as important as which changes you pick in the first place.

In this guide, you’ll learn what levers of change are, why change management is important, and the steps you should take to successfully implement change.

What are the levers of change?

Change is an inevitable part of life — and business.

Every business changes at some point, whether it be in its organizational structure or its business culture.

The process of facilitating change is known as change management, a systematic approach where businesses provide their employees with the resources they require to deal with and adapt to changes. Why do this? Well, you want to make sure your employees aren’t going to be negatively affected and are still able to perform successfully despite the changes.

“Levers of change” are the actions that managers and supervisors of a business take to engage their employees in change, and they’re a crucial part of change management.

According to research by Prosci, there are five levers of change in the fields of communication, training, coaching, and resistance management.

The processes that lead to change are called levers because they involve steps where an action is taken in one particular direction and progress is seen in another.

Are levers of change really important?

Change can be scary. Whether it’s moving to a new country, picking up a new subject, or shuffling things up in a business, the best way to face it is to have a plan.

Having a formula or a set of principles to apply when things are uncertain helps, and this is where levers of change are important.

As a manager or owner of a business, not all of your employees are going to be happy with shifts to the business. It’s human nature to find comfort in situations we are familiar with — even if they’re not always the best solution. This doesn’t mean that change isn’t needed. As a business operating in a dynamic market, you’re going to have to shift priorities and ways of doing things to adapt to environmental and economic climates.

How do I make sure that the changes I make are successful?

To ensure that your employees remain motivated, receptive, and adaptable, you’ll need to carry out change management smoothly.

A woman in a crowd yelling, "Let's go, let's go, let's go!"

It’s important to clearly communicate new changes that are being introduced to your employees to ensure that they’re involved from the start and engaged. Communication is key, as it helps your employees feel like they’re a valuable part of the business. Keeping them informed will also help them adapt much more easily and stay calm under all the pressure that change brings along.

As a changemaker, you must create a framework to deal with resistance to change while you’re introducing new processes. Thinking of solutions to tackle fear or feelings of inadequacy will enable you to resolve issues before they get out of hand. This’ll also help ensure that your business continues to function smoothly, allowing productivity and overall efficiency to keep chugging right along.

Uh-oh: Problems with change.

Without a proper change management strategy, your business might… struggle. If your employees aren’t informed properly or taught how to carry out work under a new business plan, you can count on some less-than-efficient performance. Failing to adapt quickly can lead to issues such as poor customer service that can harm your brand’s image.

A man yelling, "No! God Please! No! No! No!"

Employees who are unaware of what’s going on within the business will feel less empowered, like they’re not suited for the job or don’t have the skills and knowledge required to succeed. This can impact productivity and may even increase staff turnover (yikes).

By now it should be pretty clear that well-planned, systematic change is the key to ensuring that the overall flow of your business is not disrupted. If you want to continue growing and building your market share and influence, any change in your business should be carried out cautiously through a model that outlines the important levers of change.

Which model do I pick? (Don’t worry, this isn’t the Bachelor.)

The Prosci Model.

There are numerous models of change management that you can choose from. Prosci is a popular one.

This model acknowledges that having a communication plan is an integral part of introducing change. It also recognizes that change-makers (such as senior leaders) must actively participate in change while continuously engaging and communicating with employees.

This model also states that training is key to ensuring that new changes are implemented properly. Equipping employees with the right knowledge, tools, and resources is important to creating successful change.

Unfreeze, change, and refreeze.

Lewin’s change management model contains three stages: unfreeze, change, and refreeze.

Unfreeze outlines how businesses should first make their employees understand and accept that change is necessary. Once they begin to understand how the status quo is uncertain and risky, it’s easier to move to the second stage: “change.”

Communicating with your employees and allowing them to actively participate in the gradual changes that are being made can help them accept these shifts and understand that these are solutions to the concerns discussed in the first stage.

Once the change is accepted, the business must “refreeze the third stage in the model. This stage helps employees adopt and internalize the new changes made by mitigating any barriers to change, clarifying doubts, and creating a positive, supportive environment.

A woman releasing a breath and saying, "Embrace the change."

How do I begin applying the levers of change?

Step 1: Understand that one size does not fit all.

Each business differs from the other in terms of the market they operate in, the product or service they offer, and the type of customer they cater. Like snowflakes, no two businesses are exactly alike. Which means you can’t apply the levers of change in the same way.

Let’s look at Lewin’s Model. When unfreezing, some businesses may find that their employees are open to change while other companies may need to engage in continuous communication to emphasize why they need to introduce new processes into the business. Some managers may try to identify key stakeholders within the business and persuade them to adopt the change while others may try to run a campaign throughout the entire organization.

It’s key to know and understand the unique features of your own business in terms of communication, adaptability, and the tools and resources available to carry out change. Once you’ve identified them, it’ll be easier for you to come up with a strong strategy, allowing you to successfully bring about change management.

Step 2: Make use of ready-made templates to guide you through the process.

There are plenty of valuable templates and models out there that can help you introduce change to your business.

The 8-step Kotter Change Model covers the three main aspects of change comprehensively, beginning with creating a climate for change, engaging the members of the organization, and ensuring that change is implemented sustainably.

And it’s easy to follow. As the director or manager of your business, begin by creating a sense of urgency to help your employees understand that change is needed. Engage your employees to bring about a coalition comprising new ideas and leaders. You can discuss your strategic vision with your employees to ensure that they too are willing to work towards change.

Once you’ve done that, you can start removing barriers to change by shifting how work is usually carried out. As change happens, emphasize the small wins your new strategy has brought along in terms of being able to perform better against competitors. This will help motivate your employees to push harder towards adopting these changes.

Step 3: Drop that heart of stone.

Change is an emotional process. Regardless of what models you follow or the level of expertise you have, if you don’t capture your employee's hearts along with their heads, you’ll find it challenging to apply levers of change to your business.

A burning Elmo doll under the banner, "Emotional Damage."

The essence of a business rests on diligent employees who are motivated to carry out its goals and perform to the fullest of their capabilities. When changes are made, the work cycle or flow that they’re accustomed is disrupted. Be patient with your employees. Listen to their concerns and provide them with solutions.

Keep in mind that they might not be able to pick up on things as soon as you want them to. By remaining supportive and compassionate, your employees will eventually come around and embrace the changes made. Failing to lead with empathy can lead to unmotivated and dissatisfied employees who may even end up resigning — and that’s a lose-lose situation, especially if you’re in a tumultuous time of change.

So, are you ready for a change?

Ensuring that change management is a smooth process can be made easier with the help of Trainual.

You can quickly inform your employees about new policies and strategies by creating a business playbook. It’ll outline the important information employees need to know to carry our changes smoothly.

So, how can you create your playbook? Trainual’s got your back. You can make use of the hundreds of templates we have available to create a playbook in a centralized place that everyone can access. Each department head within your business should contribute to the playbook — this is where our subject owner feature comes in handy. You can simply assign particular content to the department heads, allowing them to fill the playbook with details relevant to that department and the whole company.

If you’ve just started your own business, train your employees in a way that encourages a culture of adaptability and a positive mindset so that they’re better prepared to face change. Our website has a ton of training material that you can use along with a wide range of videos, from discussions on how employees can embrace change to webinars on business culture and strategic planning — all of which can help you and your employees successfully apply change.

Get started with Trainual and apply the levers of change to your business today.

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Where Can You Find Your Business's Levers of Change?

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