Organizational Change is necessary for companies in order to improve things, succeed and grow further. It helps to retain competitiveness and lead in your sector, especially in our constantly evolving business environment of globalization and innovation of technology. Change supports innovation, develops skills of the staff and causes companies to rethink how they operate in order to find ways to improve performance, profits and organizational culture. It allows employees to understand and commit to the company’s mission and work effectively towards the targets. 

Ignoring change management, companies can face challenges such as, productivity drop, profit loss, quality deterioration, projects delay, low employee morale and struggle to retain talented people. 

To implement an effective organizational change, recognizing and handling the people’s issues is the biggest challenge. Human beings, like most creatures, are cautious and sceptical about change, having an inbuilt resistance from fear of losing something they have as a result of change. Fear also comes from the lack of knowledge, a state of ignorance, communication issues and the implementation of new technologies. 

Clearly, to lead change effectively and overcome resistance, leadership commitment and employees’ participation in the change process are critical factors.  

In the Hospitality Industry, a rapidly evolving market, it’s priority to implement change at a scale never experienced before. The only thing that’s constant is change, as hotels no longer need only to increase the number of guests but rather to improve their experience in order to get good reviews and repeat clientele. 

Hoteliers to support the successful implementation of major changes to be done, must first understand what needs to be changed and how. They have to re-examine how their organization creates, delivers and captures value, in economic, social, cultural and other contexts, then builds an innovation model following an implementation strategy. 

Change in hospitality is all about investing in people, guest experience and technology, while making the day-to-day operations more efficient.  Transformation may involve revenue management automation, organizational restructuring, leadership redesigning, introducing higher standards, improving processes, developing capabilities and applying best practices towards a common goal of revenue increase and profitability.

An effective model as per George Eckes, can help you to manage and lead change, gain acceptance and overcome resistance, whether for a whole Change Management Program or for a specific Project.

E = Q x A

E is the Effectiveness of the change in practice: This represents the effectiveness of the implementation, which depends on the quality of the solution and the level of acceptance.  

Q is the technical Quality of the solution: The solution works when tested as Lean and Six Sigma can prove, therefore an ideal solution may have been identified, but its effectiveness will depend on the degree to which it is accepted. 

A is the Acceptance of change by people: Having a high score for Acceptance is as important as having a good quality solution. 

Acceptance factor is as important as the Quality factor and is the real key to success, so in order to understand how people perceive things and to win support you need to score well on both factors. If you are in the early stage of deploying change, Acceptance is likely to start with winning support from Senior Managers.

What makes a good Acceptance score? How to overcome resistance?

Applying an Organizational Readiness for Change Assessment is essential to start evaluating quality figures which will help you measure the acceptance baseline. A change readiness determines how ready your business is to adapt to a proposed change, it looks at things like awareness, receptiveness, and provides guidance on what needs to be done and where to prioritized.

Backwards Visioning technique helps you create a picture of what the culture will be like in the future, considering the change has been completed successfully. You can view the future from a different perspective, and answer the question ‘Why Change?’ and understand the actions you need to take for transformation.

Recognizing the Hidden Culture, ‘the cultural web’ of unwritten rules, routines, rituals, systems and structure, can help you during the improvement process. At the core of most organizations is a set of values and beliefs that pervade everything, dictate strongly and create attitudes and behaviours that may undermine your project if people consider it a threat.

Focusing on Key Elements of Change, will help you in the deployment of the overall approach. Establish the Need, Build Stakeholder Engagement, Develop the Vision and Plan, Make Change Happen, Embed the Change, Monitor and Refresh. Communicate Well by keeping everyone appropriately informed, maintain momentum and sell the change.

Remember that not everyone reacts to the prospect of change in the same way, so by developing a strategy of respecting people’s views and feelings is essential to succeed.

Leading change effectively can be a daunting process that a specialised hospitality strategy consultant can support you with, evaluating your business and its current status in order to develop a Strategy Implementation Roadmap (SIR).

The truth is that to be successful you have to adapt to change, therefore hoteliers who understand and embrace change will be better positioned to succeed.