Checklist for Successful Change Management In Your Funeral Home

Posted February 20, 2019

6 min read

One of the fundamental components for implementing any kind of change is trust. Without that trust in place, asking others to adopt a new process or a new way of working can be extremely challenging.

With that foundation in mind, here is a checklist you can use to help you successfully implement change in your funeral home:

Have you shared the intention behind the change?

It can be simple to decide you want to change and improve the way your funeral home operates. But don’t forget the necessary structure, communication, and planning it will take to get that change to happen.

First and foremost, take pause and share what’s going on with team members as early as possible in the process.

If they are involved from the get-go and they hear the rationale and “why” behind the proposed change, they are much more likely to support it. Yes, you may have made your decision, but take the time to connect with each person on the team to talk to them about the change. Empathize with where they are coming from when you see their honest, initial reaction.

Have you shared ‘what’s in it for them’?

Communicate the benefits and the value of the change to each person. These conversations help to shape and clarify the expectations you have for each team member, as well as the group as a whole.

Have you discussed how the change will impact each person’s job?

Sometimes as leaders we may think people have a clear understanding of what we’re asking them to do, or how we are asking them to change. The reality is that’s an assumption.

Get very clear and consistently communicate their responsibilities and how those will be changing or evolving. For example, in helping CRäKN clients succeed, we recommend writing down what each person is responsible for as part of their job duties.

The clearer you can get on the impact the change will have, the more everyone can be on the same page. Being consistent and repeating some of these key expectations only helps you build trust over time.

Have you discussed how the change will impact the company?

Don’t forget to focus your energy on team dynamics, too. After all, the team is what will help you arrive at lasting and successful change.

Proactively communicate about how the change will impact the company as a whole. Dedicate time and space for people to be able to ask questions so that any concerns can be addressed. Use different avenues to communicate about the change management initiative. That might be in-person, on the phone, and in writing—or all of the above. Remember that people absorb information in different ways.

Have you been proactive with planning?

One mistake leaders can make when implementing change is to get caught up in their current day-to-day schedule, leaving no time for looking ahead at the roadmap for change. Carve out time to prioritize and to plan and to seek feedback and input along the way.

Have you made sure your current processes are clear?

Part of that planning process starts with an assessment of how you work now. Is it clear HOW the work gets done? If you want to change how works is accomplished, you need to start with an evaluation of where you are at today.

Have you documented how processes will change?

Capture the details on how processes will change. The output may be the same or similar, but you’re looking to make sure everyone is on the same page with how the processes will impact their day-to-day jobs. After all, in many workplaces, one person can end up being a bottleneck for the entire team—so you want to be sure everyone sees how their role impacts their colleagues, too.

Don’t forget that during times of change, sometimes there is a period of time where two different processes have to work at the same time. This can also be captured and shared with the team.

Do business owners/leadership support the plan?

One of the quickest ways to diminish any kind of trust or credibility for a proposed change is if top leaders don’t support the change. Be sure the funeral home owners are as involved as they can be and that they communicate and display their support for the change.

Do you have ‘champions’ for the change initiative?

One of your biggest allies in change management is leaders who can be internal advocates for the change alongside you. These “influencers” can help you continue to keep levels of trust high, even during challenging times.

First, ensure these “champions” are true advocates for the change. Second, give them the proper resources so that they can become active and visible proponents for the change. Last, get specific on what you are asking them to do and how you are asking them to sponsor the change.

Are you prepared to have resilient support for the change?

For some funeral homes dealing with change, things can get worse before they improve. In other words, it’s not uncommon to have early setbacks or early stress during times of change.

That kind of duress can frustrate team members, but if staff is unwavering in their commitment to the change, and to supporting each other through the process, those obstacles will be overcome.

Do you have the proper tools and resources to support the change?

Realistically, what kind of time are you willing to dedicate to this process? What kinds of support can you offer to help build momentum? Is it in-person or virtual training? How will you celebrate even “small wins” along the way? Positive feedback and reinforcement can be another form of support that can be neglected or forgotten about, but shouldn’t be.

Are you anticipating and prepared for resistance to change?

Don’t be afraid of push-back or resistance to change. Instead, anticipate some resistance and invite people to discuss their concerns, worries, and emotions.

Rather than avoid criticism or concerns, be open to them. By inviting people to share, you help to address the discontent before it spreads or becomes pervasive. Just be sure to listen to what people have to say!

Are you proactively communicating throughout the process?

With any kind of change, there can be a great deal of emotions involved, and that’s okay. That’s why over-communicating is almost impossible when it comes to implementing change! Put simply, even if you think you are communicating enough, you may not be, so keep the lines of communication open.

Also make sure you set up multiple avenues for people to voice their concerns, opinions, and feelings throughout the process.

Sometimes people can get disgruntled during times of change because they feel like they are not being heard; consider giving people some sort of space—such as a dedicated monthly meeting—where they can share how they are perceiving what’s going on.

You Deserve a Customer Success Team to Help You with Change

CRäKN provides you with a dedicated customer success team that helps you every step of the way in your journey with us. That may be from paper processes to CRäKN, or it may be from another system to CRäKN.

We don’t lock you into a contract, and we have no seat fees, no hosting fees, and no maintenance fees. We also want the entire staff to use CRäKN every day, so we won’t charge you for individual users. Learn more about CRäKN today.

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