Advances in technology, changing client wants, and new competitors all have an impact on business dynamics across industries. With ongoing change, having a change management plan is essential. However, as individuals engage on the change path, they require external inspiration, support, and guidance in order to overcome personal obstacles to change and effectively drive the overall shift. This external aid might come from within an organization’s change leadership, third-party consultants, or change agents. A change agent definition can be given as a change advocate, is someone who serves as a catalyst for the change management process. They assist an organisation, or a portion of an organisation, in transforming its operations by inspiring and influencing others. A change agent will advocate, champion, facilitate, and assist the implementation of change in a company. This article aims to cover the various responsibilities of a change agent and many other factors associated with them.
Fundamental responsibilities of a change agent:
- Consultant: This change agent function acts as a change consultant to guarantee a bidirectional flow of data before conducting additional data analysis to deliver actionable insights to team members.
- Trainer: A change manager, in addition to being a consultant, is frequently a trainer, assisting team members in acting on the insights received from data analysis and in acquiring new skills to prepare them for the new digital or technical transformation. Third-party expertise or change management solutions are also used to give employee training and onboarding for a new procedure or application. Many reputed companies promotes a self-help culture and offers a tailored training and onboarding experience with features such as in-app interactive walkthroughs and customisable pop-ups, which give contextual training and on-demand support – all while employees are working.
- Communicator and Activist: Organizations frequently focus on logistics rather than change communication while executing change. According to respectable sources, 73 percent of employees feel moderate to high levels of stress as a result of inadequate change communication, and impacted employees perform 5% worse than the typical employee. As a result, for change to be successful, team members must understand and support it — without good change management communication, the change is doomed to fail.
- Researcher: A change agent, like a researcher, concentrates on fixing present issues and predicting future concerns. He also does competitive analysis and assesses the efficacy of an organization’s implementation plan and overall change management strategy.
There are various types of Change Agents. The classification is listed below:
- People-Focused Change Agents: People-focused change agents assist individual workers in adapting to change by increasing employee morale and motivation. They investigate absenteeism, turnover, and work quality through behaviour change, job enrichment, and goal setting.
- Agents of Internal Process Change: Internal processes such as intergroup interactions, communication, and decision making are the primary emphasis of these change agents. Internal process change agents use a culture change method to permanently embed the change by providing sensitivity training, team building, and employee surveys.
- Change Agents in Organizational and Operational Structure: These change agents work to alter the organisational structure in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency. Organizational structure change agents employ numerous analytical methodologies to modify the structure or technology of an organisation, such as operations research, systems analysis, and policy studies.
Change agents may be found in many sorts of companies, teams, and sectors, as well as in the various roles of change agents. The primary change agent will be determined by the organization’s change life cycle. The position of a change agent is more important than ever before, as failed efforts can result in significant losses and set back the company’s success by years. Nike’s unsuccessful ERP deployment, for example, cost the corporation a total of $500 million in missed revenue and project budget expenditures, as well as multiple lawsuits stemming from unfilled orders. The main characteristics of a change agent, as well as their interaction with key decision-makers, ultimately determine the success or failure of any change endeavour. Every organisational change, no matter how big or little, necessitates the involvement of one or more change agents. A change agent, whether external or internal, has the skill set to lead and aid the change process, ensuring the success of your business. This article aims to clear all the doubts in the minds of the readers about the change agents. It will help them understand the importance of a change agent in an organisation.