Change in the workplace is inevitable. It is not uncommon for companies to go through restructuring, downsizing, acquisition, or other reorganizations. These can be challenging times for employees as they learn to adjust and adapt to new situations. Leaders can help facilitate these transitions to make them run more smoothly and reduce negative impact.
Facing the unknown can be scary. Rather than blindly leading employees into change and hoping they will follow, be transparent and keep employees informed. Let them know what is happening, why it is happening, and what they can expect. The more understanding they have of the changes occurring and how they will be affected, the better support you can provide. Emphasize the positives that will come from the changes.
Be prepared to answer questions and concerns. You may not have all of the answers immediately, but be honest about what you do and do not know, including what you can and cannot say. Reassure employees that you will let them know as soon as possible and provide as much support and information as you can. Invite them to express their opinions and ideas about possible solutions to challenges they may face. Get a feel for what their concerns are and how to address them.
Provide a Structured Plan
Introducing a multitude of major changes at once can be overwhelming. Consider making transitions in phases and communicate each step to employees. Oftentimes people handle change better when they know what to expect and what is coming. Build a timeline for when changes will occur and keep employees updated on progress. Recognize that there will be a period of adjustment and identify key leaders who will facilitate acceptance of change and resolve challenges that may arise. Try to maintain as much stability and consistency as possible with factors that are not changing.
If changes require employees to take on new responsibilities, learn new processes or procedures, or follow new rules, make sure these things are clearly communicated. Provide training and coaching to ensure adherence and boost performance. Employees need to feel supported. Make sure they are equipped with the skills they need to succeed. Leaders should be role models and change agents because they are the ones employees will look to.
Focus on the Positive
Change is not always easy, and employees may not always immediately see the value it holds. Keep a positive outlook and reinforce the good that will come of the situation. Strive to overcome obstacles with grace and confidence. Provide ongoing motivation that encourages employees to accept change and be open to new ideas. Recognize and celebrate small milestones on the way to larger ones to keep up employee morale. Encourage employees to be an active part of creating a more positive future for the company and for their career.
While you may experience some resistance, being proactive rather than reactive can drive acceptance of change. Strive to get everyone on board and to be receptive to what they are going through. As a leader, you can have a strong influence and employees will look to you for guidance and information. Let JP Kantor Consulting prepare you for the challenges and responsibilities of championing change in the workplace. Face organizational change with confidence and help your employees to do the same. Contact us today to find out more about the wide range of services we provide to support you in excelling as a leader.