Change Management Strategies

Implement the best change management strategies to effectively inspire participation, drive change, and track its progress in your company.

Managers and workers discuss change management strategies

What are Change Management Strategies?

Change management strategies are structured approaches used by change managers to plan, implement, and manage changes within the organization. These strategies aim to minimize downtime, help employees adapt to change, and ensure transitions during periods of organizational change.

7 Change Management Strategies

Organizational change management strategies are essential to manage change in a structured and efficient manner. They can help you enhance organizational performance during a transition and achieve overall business success.

Here are the successful change management strategies that you can use in planning and implementing change:

1. Create a change management plan

All effective change management strategies always begin with a detailed change management plan. This can help you understand the company’s past, present, and future in relation to the change.

This plan serves as a roadmap during the transition from the current state to the desired state.

It ensures that changes are being implemented smoothly and effectively. It also helps minimize disruptions and maximize positive outcomes.

In your change management, be sure that you:

  • Clearly define the change, documenting the reasons and expected outcomes
  • Identify all teams or members that will be affected by the change
  • Assess the impact of the change on processes, systems, and employees
  • Anticipate and develop strategies to manage resistance
  • Set clear milestones and performance metrics to track progress


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2. Communicate change clearly and transparently

Clear and transparent communication promotes trust within the organization, especially during a crucial period of transition. For one, employees are more eager to support the initiative when they understand the reasons behind the change, the expected benefits, and the impact on their roles.

Inform the employees about the change as soon as possible to give them time to mentally prepare for what’s coming. You can announce this during town halls, Q&A sessions, and open forums. The two-way communication in these venues is helpful to address questions and concerns early on.

After the announcement, maintain consistent change communication with employees. Here are a few tips to help you spread the information effectively:

  • Use multiple channels of communication (posters, email, instant messaging)
  • Use the brand voice and a confident tone
  • Use simple sentences and avoid jargon
  • Include the reasons behind the change
  • Highlight the personal benefits of workers from the change
  • Keep your lines open and include your email where employees can send in questions

3. Engage and support your employees

These are the foundational strategies for change management. It’s not enough to have a compelling change. You need the participation of employees to drive it forward. And you can implement it a lot easier when they are engaged and supported.

Here’s how you can prioritize employee engagement and support during change implementation:

  • Be inclusive by involving them in decision-making, seeking their input, and valuing their perspective
  • Build resilience and adaptability by providing training and coaching sessions
  • Encourage continued engagement by recognizing contributions and celebrating achievements

4. Implement change in phases

Avoid implementing change in one go. Instead, break it down into smaller and manageable components or phases. This enables the team to build momentum and meet achievable targets, as early successes can inspire confidence and improve team morale. This also prevents overwhelming your team with so many targets to hit all at once.

Addressing one phase at a time allows you to focus attention and company resources on a specific area. This change implementation strategy lets you identify and minimize the impact of potential disruptions.

Implementing change in phases can also allow you to assess the hits and misses of each phase before moving on to the next. This can help you make necessary adjustments based on insights from each phase. This continuous learning can optimize the overall success of your change management strategy.

5. Track progress

This strategy provides a clear view of the status of the change management. It allows you to monitor if everyone is on track toward the desired outcomes. Tracking progress also enhances the sense of accountability within the team, as members are more likely to stay committed when their contributions are evaluated.

Share every tracking and reporting of progress with the team to build trust among the members. It can guide efforts and resources effectively. It also keeps the team focused, motivated, and aligned.

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6. Identify signs of resistance

Recognizing resistance early is critical in change management strategies. Fear of the unknown or lack of understanding is often the cause of resistance. Once identified, it raises the need for enhanced communication, providing details about the change. Clearer and honest communication is crucial because it alleviates fears and builds support for the change.

Here are the common signs of resistance in change management:

  • Negative attitudes
  • Decreased productivity
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Unwilling participation in change-related activities

By monitoring these signs, you can intervene promptly to mitigate resistance and keep momentum toward a smoother transition.

7. Be a good leader

Strong leadership is the most important success factor in change management strategies. You can start by providing a clear vision, and then articulating it in a compelling narrative that can inspire and motivate employees to participate in the change initiative. This provides the company a sense of purpose and direction.

As you can see, all other change management strategies require good leadership – from creating a plan and engaging employees to tracking progress and identifying resistance.

As a leader, you set the tone for change management. Start by modeling behaviors and attitudes that you wish to see in your team members. Lead by example to cultivate a positive attitude, as strong leadership not only facilitates smoother transitions but also empowers employees to embrace and drive positive change.

Ramon Meris
Article by
Ramon Meris
SafetyCulture Content Specialist
Ramon is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture. He has written articles on a wide range of health, safety, and operational topics. His professional background in investment banking and academic training in the humanities enable him to create informative and engaging content that aims to promote workplace safety and efficiency across multiple industries.