As with any business, title agencies go through radical organizational changes that can adversely impact a variety of areas. Current economic trends, global events and advancing technologies prompt sudden changes at any given time.
Employees who understand the types of changes they must personally make, and commit to the outcome, are more likely to maintain high morale, continue developing skills and lead their business to thrive during a transitional period. While change management for process improvement has existed for nearly 100 years, the traditional framework continues to help managers make modifications with minimal negative impacts on employees, production or revenues.
What steps do we recommend that title agencies take to implement change management for process improvement?
Discuss Changes with Internal Stakeholders
Several steps must take place in the beginning. Title agency management must identify areas in need of improvement, create a focused plan to implement changes, outline and locate external and internal people and resources involved or impacted by implementation. During the planning stage, management must list out clear goals and focus on the individual and incremental steps needed, the costs associated with performance, the extent of the disruption to employees, partners, processes and methods to reduce disruptions.
Yet, the most important step from the start is to provide employees and other internal stakeholders with explicit information about improvements with reasoning and a plan outline. After all, employees upset by radical shifts might be disruptive with reassurance or understanding. At every step, clear communication guarantees transparency, prevents errors from lack of knowledge, reduces dangerous gossip, addresses group and team needs, improves morale and opens the door for management to receive critical feedback.
Provide Resources, Monitor Reactions and Clarify Progress
During implementation, employees need resources that educate them about topics related to improvements and tools to help them feel comfortable, such as training materials and equipment. Since people are prone to resist change, it’s important to monitor employee reactions and prepare counterarguments and examples that address reasons for adverse reactions and behaviors.
Whether employees display positive or negative reactions, management should use all monitoring and tracking data to communicate progress status. Since changes don’t always work out, adjustments based on progress and employee feedback are necessary for improvement.
Recognize Employees for Their Efforts
Recognition is one of the best ways to keep morale up and encourage employees to focus on adapting and learning during implementation. Verbal gratitude and acknowledgment of individual efforts go a long way. Management in a title agency needs to celebrate team achievements and emphasize how efforts are improving the business. Employee recognition might also include direct, tangible incentives, such as time off, cash or awards.
Radical Changes Don’t Have to Create Chaos
As noted, humans naturally resist change and have difficulty adjusting. Title agency owners and managers can keep their employees motivated, focused and helpful through solid planning, clear communication, open to feedback, reevaluation, expressions of encouragement and appreciation.