How to use the 3 Cs to introduce change

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Shweta Jhajharia simplifies the change management experience.

Change is a crucial element in the survival of any business. Done well, it pushes the business to new heights of success. But introducing it badly can have devastating consequences. In the end, change is a choice that the entire organisation must accept in order for it to be effectively adopted and produce the desired results. 

It is important to include all your employees in this decision to make them feel included and significant within the business. That is one of the best ways to keep your team motivated, and ensure they accept the changes being implemented. If you use these 3Cs, it can become easier for your team to understand the change, and therefore buy into it:

  • Context: Tell everyone why your business or organisation needs a change. Explain the context of this change and answer any questions.
  • Content: Which areas need a change? Explain the things that are going to change or which need a change.
  • Course of action: This describes the actions that need to be taken - and when they will be taken - to change things.

Resistance from employees is one of the main reasons that change initiatives fail. Therefore you need to know how to deal with this resistance in a way that does not derail the change and does not destroy morale. People usually show resistance to change when:

  • The reason and context of change is unclear. If certain things like job security, equipment and salary changes are unclear, people will resist for fear of losing their jobs, positions or resources.
  • Some members of the organisation are excluded. If employees can see that change is happening and they are not being included in the discussion, they will resist. They want to know what is going on and what changes are being made.
  • The change is seen as a threat to the established norms and styles of the organisation. People get comfortable and will not want that comfort to change.
  • There are no benefits and rewards offered for the change. If they cannot see what is in it for them, what incentive do they have to go along with it?

Based on these reasons, you can see how dealing with resistance involves clearing up any and all uncertainties. The fear of surprise should be eliminated, and reassurance should be delivered at every stage to everyone in the organisation. Timing is also critical when it comes to change: make sure you choose the right time to start enacting change and plan the roll-out accordingly so as to minimise the chance of resistance.

The bottom line is that without positive change, a business is unlikely to achieve stretch goals and will most probably fail to meet the needs of a changing and ever more demanding market. This is why change can be crucial and incredibly beneficial, and therefore why it is important to handle it correctly.

Bringing in positive change to the culture, such as affecting basic norms, beliefs, patterns and values can also result in customer and employee satisfaction, increased work retention, and improved performance. This has to be managed very carefully, and measured to ensure these changes are indeed for the better and not being forced upon your employees. The results of your implementation should be checked throughout the process so you can spot resistance and problems before they become too big to correct.

Ultimately, change will happen to the business, whether you want it to happen or not. If you plan properly, and decide for yourself how that change will happen, you can steer towards positive change and create better results for your business.

Shweta Jhajharia, principal coach and founder of The London Coaching Group, is a multi-award-winning business coach, recognised both by external bodies and the industry awards panels as the top coach in the UK. Despite competitive economy, her clients across sectors consistently achieve measurable double digit growth (over 41%) and are the most awarded client base in UK. Follow them on Twitter here

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