What is a change management model?

A change management model is a system that strategically assists companies in navigating through periods of transformation and transition.

Change management models help organizations successfully undergo transitions that lead to positive outcomes. Kurt Lewin’s model, for example, involves a three-step process of change that:

  • Encourages employees to “unfreeze” and release their connection to the status quo
  • Supports acceptance of new practices 
  • Assists employees in remolding, “refreezing,” and reinforcing the new ways  

Why should HR leaders care about change management models?

Employees must demonstrate resilience and a readiness to adapt to change if they want to succeed in our current world of work. People instinctively tend to resist change. With the appropriate change model, HR leaders can guide employees to align their beliefs and emotions with the changes. Leading employees through this process of acceptance boosts:

  • Productivity
  • Retention
  • Engagement
  • Motivation

What can HR leaders do to implement effective change management models?

HR professionals can incorporate these practices when administering a change management model:

  • Create a roadmap. HR leadership should establish a strategy to get employees on board with the proposed changes. Determining a game plan will help HR leaders and personnel stay on track and reach the desired outcome. The approach should satisfy stakeholders’ goals and prepare employees to adapt and acquire the necessary skills to thrive in the new format. 
  • Communicate with employees. Change can cause doubt and disorientation among employees. Actively listening to employees’ concerns reflects genuine consideration and respect. During the change process, HR leaders need to acknowledge employees’ worries to proceed with minimal resistance. Informing employees on details of the adjustment process can lessen anxiety. The more employees know about the upcoming changes, the more they can readily support the developments. Additionally, an employee feedback system enables employees to share their input and contribute to the process rather than feeling forced to join. 
  • Develop an internal marketing method. HR leaders can enlist the aid of a marketing team to motivate employee buy-in. The marketing method should convey why the change is necessary and beneficial, address reasons for resistance, and accompany personnel through a process of shifting their perspective. A data-driven marketing campaign that’s simple and straightforward and speaks to peoples’ concerns can spur acceptance and support for future developments. 
  • Lead by example. HR professionals must wholeheartedly support the change to inspire trust and enthusiasm in employees and managers. Treating employees with empathy, consideration, and respect as the process unfolds will encourage them to believe in the change as well. 

How can change management models improve company culture?  

By relying on a tried and tested framework to nurture employee support, companies can facilitate a gentler, more empathetic, and effective process of change. A system that empowers employees to embrace change can promote greater employee motivation and engagement. After experiencing a successful transition period, employees can continue to contribute renewed energy and dedication to the company culture.