Five Tips to Navigating Change

At Avicado, our consultants have years of experience implementing PMIS solutions and helping customers update their business processes. We’ve seen how these changes can impact an Owner organization.

Here are five tips to help you navigate change in your organization.

Five Tips to Navigating Change

As construction owners continue to modernize, the demand for greater efficiency and improved delivery amidst tight budgets and labor challenges is spurring the industry to change. Through years of implementing PMIS software and updating the supporting processes, our consultants have found that the people side of change often gets missed. Making changes to the technical side won’t matter if the people who must use it daily are not on-board.

Here are five tips to help navigate change in your organization:

1. Communicate the reason for the change

Don’t assume that everyone knows why changes are being made. Reduce any potential defensiveness and claims of “I didn’t know” by establishing a Communication Plan. Find ways to communicate information to the teams and gain involvement earlier in the process. This will reduce the shock of change and allow for buy-in from team members.

2. Enlist the right people to help

Create a Change Team to help navigate. You’ll need a sponsor at a Director level (or above) to provide high level oversight and buy-in. You’ll also need a Champion – someone to help test the processes and serve as the cheerleader for the team. Be sure to enlist direct supervisors – employees put high value on meeting the needs of their supervisor.

3. Determine the “how”

Ensure that each team member and role is included in the Communication Plan. Establish a regular cadence to ensure consistent communication of the same information. People need to hear things more than one time in order to retain it. Think about alternative communication methods as well – email, websites, videos, Slack channels, team meetings, etc. Bring up the information often and repeat it. This is the best way to reduce claims of “No one told me!”

4. Gain buy-in and support

Along the way, be sure to continue to actively influence people, continue engagement and bring people along to help ensure they feel involved. Be sure to include technical people and employees that are directly impacted by the change.  Build excitement about the benefits of the changes – perhaps this will improve their work, eliminate duplication of effort, etc.  Success will spread by word of mouth which will help broader change acceptance.

5. Engage and sustain

After rollout, it’s time to engage the teams to sustain the changes. This is a great time to identify anything that might have been missed when trying to hit key project dates. Create a milestone to check in after a period of time (perhaps three months) to see not only if the change is still in practice, but if it’s working as intended. Use newsletters for positive feedback and to keep the team engaged and rewarded. People are fast to share any negatives, so it helps to have a method to distribute the positive news. Use the first 90 days to create a backlog of things that the team likes / doesn’t like. One typical outcome is the identification of additional changes which can be beneficial to the team. And then you can start again!

Other tips:

  • If there is a large roadmap of changes, try to prioritize high impact items and space out the efforts across different teams
  • Teams can reach a “Change Saturation” or feel overwhelmed by all of the changes leading to burn out
  • While change is constant, day to day resources need to have a voice and be able to provide feedback

When you’re ready to implement changes Avicado’s team of resources are ready to help you navigate change and make a positive impact to your business. Connect with our team to learn more!

Author & Contributors: Lindsay Nichols, Consultant and Chaslyn Batchelor, Communications Specialist

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