Companies must be proactive when it comes to developing a change management strategy or risk confusion and resistance among staff, says project management expert Moira Alexander in a recent article for TechRepublic.

The founder and president of Lead-Her-Ship Group offers tips for business leaders looking to more effectively manage change:

Leverage technology to advance education. Developments in cloud computing and software as a service have changed the way companies approach all facets of business. Onboarding and training staff can be a challenge due to the complexity of these new services, but new learning environments such as virtual training help clearly demonstrate these technologies and allow staff to explore them hands-on.

Start the conversation about change management early. Imagine executing a project without considering how it could impact daily operations. Failure to monitor, evaluate, document and communicate any changes could result in confusion, resistance and missed steps. The solution: Develop change teams as part of a project team in the early stages of the project.

Create and maintain a culture of embracing change. Change can be tough on company morale and culture, creating misunderstandings and fear among staff, which could lead to conflict among team members and between departments. Since teams and individuals take their lead from management, it’s imperative for the entire executive team to be on the same page when it comes to setting and driving the culture. To help employees embrace a culture of change:

  • Talk to employees about new developments before or as they happen; leaving conversations too long can create fear and reduce buy-in.
  • Create a portal on the company intranet to keep employees up to date on changes and allow them to post questions and get responses.
  • Team leads or middle managers should meet regularly with their teams and discuss developments that impact the company, their group, and current or future projects.

See the full article: “3 strategies for effectively managing change in your organization.”