Consulting Services Five Unexpected Outcomes of Change
by Anna Jane Parrill 
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“Change is the only constant in life,” isn’t that how the saying goes? Whether it’s a new project, a shift in leadership, updated policies, or system upgrades, it is important to understand the impacts of change. Anticipating not only the benefits but the potential consequences of a change can help organizations and professionals plan ahead to limit their risk and protect their bottom line.

What Impacts Are Associated with Organizational Change?

Non-Compliance

Without well-planned change implementation, updates to an organization’s policies and procedures can quickly lead to non-compliance. Policies and procedures should be developed with regulatory risk in mind. Organizational or project leadership sometimes overlooks the background work required to develop a new policy or procedure that complies with applicable regulations.

Organizations that aren’t constantly adapting take longer to implement necessary changes and may fall victim to the downsides of change.

Turnover

An organization may experience changes in ownership, leadership, systems, or procedures that can cause employee efficacy to falter. This may result in employees feeling unequipped to perform their roles and can have an unintended negative impact on company culture. Without appropriate change implementation, team members might struggle to see how they fit into the organization or feel overwhelmed with changes to their roles.

Efficiency Loss (Loss in Profit)

Changes to systems, processes, and procedures require time for employees to adapt. Time is money, and the longer an organization’s workforce takes to learn and respond to a change, the higher the cost to the organization. Without adequate planning and training, workflows can stall and impact the company’s profits.

Reputation Boost

Organizations that have a comprehensive change implementation plan are more likely to experience a boost in reputation, both internal and external. When an organization responds to a leadership or regulatory change nimbly and with confidence, it can bolster public perception and increase business. Similarly, effective implementation of change demonstrates to an organization’s employees that leadership is prepared and informed. Open and consistent communication around upcoming changes helps employees feel that they have agency in their roles. A positive reputation among employees will benefit organizations in the long run when it comes to hiring and retaining strong team members.

Competitive Edge

Organizations that embrace change will find that they have the edge over their change-averse competitors. Organizations that aren’t constantly adapting take longer to implement necessary changes and may fall victim to the downsides of change – non-compliance, turnover, and efficiency loss. A great way to beat out the competition is to develop robust change planning practices.

Preparing for Change

To properly prepare for change implementation, organizations should:

  • Create a culture of constant, welcome change. Organizations that are comfortable are not seeking ways to do better and may soon fall behind competitors. Encourage employees at all levels to look for efficiency improvements and maintain consistent communication around upcoming changes.
  • Seek stakeholder involvement to ensure that mid-level leaders, ground-level team members, and subject matter experts get a chance to share input on the ways that a change could potentially affect their team or functional area.
  • Gain a data-driven understanding of impact. Metrics matter when it comes to understanding how a change impacts the bottom line. Be intentional about performance indicator reporting both pre- and post-change to identify opportunities for improvement in future change implementation planning.

Change can be a very exciting experience for organizations that are adequately prepared. Assessing the full range of impact that a change may have can minimize regulatory, employee, and profit risks. Comprehensive change implementation planning is critical to an organization’s continued success.

Need Help?

P&N has a change management team to help you navigate new situations within your organization. Contact us today to start a conversation about your next steps.

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