7 change management trends to watch in 2022

7 change management trends to watch in 2022

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1. Transitioning from awareness to expectation

Awareness of change management has evolved into a standing expectation.  Today’s employees know that change isn’t something they need to deal with only once or twice a year—and that staying still isn’t an option at either organizational or personal levels.  Whenever change happens, 

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1. Transitioning from awareness to expectation

team members at every tier, from the C-suite to the factory floor, have come to expect the support that only effective change management can deliver.

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2. Managers stepping up as change agents

As the pace of change accelerates, more organizations are expecting employees at manager level and above to become educated in change management practices.  The ability to empathetically and effectively guide employees through change is no longer a “nice to have” for managers, nor should 

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2. Managers stepping up as change agents

designated change managers be expected to handle every aspect of every large-scale initiative. Change-related requirements are already working their way into job postings for manager-level positions, and we are starting to see more companies invest in coaching and skill-building in this area for current leaders. 

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3. Incorporating change into company cultures

The ability to adapt to change has become a standing expectation of employees among companies of all sizes, and we’re starting to see this trend reflected in company values, mission statements, and cultural goals.  Terms like “flexible,” “agile,” and “learning/growth mindset” are popping up in the language organizations use to talk about 

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3. Incorporating change into company cultures

 themselves at the highest level. To put it another way, companies are going beyond simply “making peace with change.” Today they’re proactively re-tuning themselves to be able to adapt more quickly and easily to whatever disruptions—positive and negative, major and minor—may lie ahead.

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4. Humanizing change

Companies are starting to see change management as something they want to do, rather than just a necessary element for implementing or adapting to changes efficiently. This desire to help employees manage change can inspire investments above and beyond the bare minimum, encompassing tools, people, and processes to address 

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4. Humanizing change

employees’ emotional needs as well as what they need to get their jobs done.

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5. Highlighting the value of authentic leadership

With work-from-home becoming a permanent fixture in many organizations (at least as an option), leaders are facing new challenges in their efforts to engage employees. When change is on the horizon, employees are more likely to engage with leaders they trust, and that trust begins with authenticity.

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5. Highlighting the value of authentic leadership

According to the Gartner study, employees with high trust have 2.6 times greater capacity to absorb change than those with lower trust levels.

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6. Becoming data-driven

Organizational initiatives across the board are becoming more data-driven, and change management is no exception.  Historically, gathering change management data has involved surveys, surveys, and more surveys.  It will be interesting to see how the change manager’s data toolbox continues to evolve in 

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6. Becoming data-driven

2022 and beyond. I can easily see AI tools being leveraged to more accurately gauge employee sentiments, highlighting the emotional aspects of how employees process change.

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7. Evolving approaches to communication

Change managers are starting to deliver more transparent, meaningful communications that tap into emotional experiences.  This pivot in approach incorporates practices such as being honest about changes and processes—particularly the why behind the what—as well as admitting uncertainty and owning up to failures. 

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7. Evolving approaches to communication

The employee of 2022 has little patience with fluff and platitudes, being far more likely to respect a message along the lines of “this is what we’re trying, and we’ll see how it goes.”

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