When it comes to managing change, finance professionals are often in a unique position.
You’re exposed to new rules, regulations, tax codes, and a seemingly endless list of technological changes.
It happens so often nowadays it seems like your team is continuously managing change and adjusting to a new normal.
Here are our top 11 tips for managing change as a finance professional:
1. Plan ahead
The first step to managing change is to plan for it. This means anticipating possible changes and thinking about how your team will need to adapt.
You’d need to understand the scope, resources required, departments impacted, the cost, and timelines. You’d also need to avoid a big bang and start with the bare minimum.
This way, you can get feedback, make changes, and ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.
2. Build influence before you start
If you want to successfully manage change, you need to build influence within your team and across the organisation.
Why? Because influence is needed to ensure everyone is bought into and supports the change.
The best way to do this is to start building relationships early on. Get to know your team members and understand their motivations.
3. Resistance is natural
Help your team understand the following as early as possible:
- Why is the change required?
- How will it help?
- How can people be involved?
Answering these questions will help to build trust and ultimately lead to buy-in from your team.
If you want to manage change successfully, you need to be prepared to deal with conflict.
Ignoring or burying conflict will only make it worse and will make it more difficult to manage change successfully.
So, address disagreements head-on. Bring tensions to the surface; don’t let things fester.
Have a clear plan for resolution and follow through with it.
5. Be transparent
Your team needs to understand what’s happening and why it’s happening.
For instance, they may lose some of their responsibilities and tasks. Explain the impact and encourage questions.
In times of change, employees look to their leaders for guidance. By being transparent, you can earn trust and successfully navigate your team through change.
6. Establish champions
Enthusiasm is contagious. So consider appointing early adopters as change champions to help with communication and implementation.
Change champions can be a great help in rallying the team and getting everyone on board with the changes.
7. Communicate, communicate, communicate
When it comes to change, communication is key. Make sure you have a plan in place for communicating the changes to your team.
And don’t just communicate once; keep the lines of communication open throughout the process.
As stated earlier, your team needs to know what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how it will impact them.
Use multiple channels (email, messages, meetings) and ensure information is clear, concise and easy to understand.
8. Provide tools
Ensure your team has what they need (training, technology tools etc.) to do their job before the change is implemented.
This will help to make the transition smoother and prevent any disruptions in productivity.
9. Track and measure
Track your progress throughout your project and look out for any detours from the plan. Make sure you have KPIs in place to measure success.
You may also want to conduct surveys to get feedback from your team on how they’re finding the change.
10. Celebrate wins
It’s important to celebrate successes and milestones along the way. This will help to keep your team motivated and engaged.
It also helps to establish a sense of progress and also provides insights into how to improve.
11. Identify lessons learned
Once the change is complete, take some time to sit down with your team and reflect on the process.
- What went well?
- What could be improved?
- What would you do differently next time?
By identifying lessons learned, you can improve your change management process for future projects.
In conclusion: change management tips for finance professionals
Change management is a complex process, but these tips will help you to navigate it successfully.
By following these tips, you can ensure your team is on board with the changes and help to make the transition smoother.
Want to discuss these tips further? Feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to talk about how our team can help you make the most of new accounting software.