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3 tips for implementing change in these challenging times

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Many organizations and employees are exhausted and tired of hearing about change. Some even claim that their business has changed enough lately to last a decade. However, savvy leaders understand that there is no rest for the weary and that consistent change, which is a necessity for business success, is now the new normal.

While it’s no secret that companies need to constantly adapt and reinvent themselves much faster to stay relevant, it’s not the reality. According to Innosight’s Corporate Longevity 2021 Forecast, there is a sustained long-term decline in business life. The average lifespan of S&P 500 companies from 30-35 years in the late 1970s fell to a forecast of 15-20 years in the decade ending in 2025.

While a 45-year average life decline of 46% for publicly traded companies doesn’t bode well for some organizations, it helps highlight a critical need for companies that are more agile, flexible and resilient for long-term success. Of course, this often requires organizational transformations, which do not have a strong track record. In fact, no less than 70% of the transformation attempts failso companies need to devise better strategies to handle change.

How do companies already experiencing change fatigue implement organizational changes that effectively address the needs of the company and its employees? Below are four tips for leaders to consider.

Related: 5 Principles for Coping with Constant Change

View the situation

Before discussing organizational transformation, business leaders need to realistically view the situation they face through a people-centered lens. While most business leaders understand the change workers are undergoing as a result of the pandemic, they may not realize the magnitude.

According to a recent questionnaire71% of employees say they are overwhelmed by the amount of change at work and 83% feel their employer has not provided enough tools or resources to help them adapt to change, leading to record levels of burnout that could lead to more layoffs.

Employers should be reminded that under normal circumstances, employees are the most resilient to change, so they should exercise caution, monitor the pulse of their workforce and evaluate support mechanisms before making additional changes because employees have only so much capacity for change . If more resources are needed, it’s a good idea to boost them before taking the next steps. Business leaders need the buy-in of their most valuable asset – their people – to drive further change. It behooves them to understand the layout of the land and how far more changes can be made.

Determine your strategy

When change is discussed, it can have negative connotations, especially given the unprecedented magnitude and pace at which recent changes have taken place. A shift in leadership thinking regarding change is needed to engage employees and achieve future success. While business leaders are well aware of socially oriented business practices and their impact on business operations, it is a natural development to transfer this mindset to organizational change. When change is positioned as a mission with a clear purpose that makes a difference to the company, employees and the community, it is more likely to be viewed in a positive way.

Now that employees have been prompted to re-evaluate their mission, purpose and values, they will be more open to change that has purpose and will see their work as a calling to make a difference for the greater good. When leaders share a compelling reason to make change, it becomes a stage for employees to be part of something exciting in the company’s history, rather than a stressful time of constant change.

Related: What Benjamin Franklin and Tony Robbins Can Teach You About Self-Improvement

embracing change

The best thing leaders can do to address organizational transformation is to embrace and accept change as the new normal. According to capterrachanges will be rampant in the 2020s and 78% of workers expect their jobs to change constantly in the future.

New technologies are being developed and evaluated, more companies are adopting or increasing their use of technology, employee and customer expectations are evolving and new functions are being defined. In fact, the World Economic Forum estimates that nearly 100 million jobs better adapted to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms could be created by 2025.

Related: Change Your Mindset and Actions to Embrace Change

The pandemic, major layoffs, labor market and economic challenges have combined to provide leaders with valuable experience for change initiatives. Whatever the situation, past experience is always a good lesson and a way to build a knowledge base to benefit from in the future. Leaders and employees who embrace change effectively must experience professional and personal growth for long-term success.

Business leaders must consider a realistic picture of the situation, set strategy and embrace change to overcome the consequences of change. This allows them to remain relevant and effectively take the next steps in the evolution of their company.

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