There is nothing more constant than change. In the workplace, change management is necessary whenever it seeks to improve performance, address organizational issues or take advantage of business opportunities. Employees must transition into new ways of doing their jobs, which is no easy task. If change is not handled well, employees can become upset and develop resentful and bitter feelings. However, if employees are involved in the company change from the beginning of the process, the entire experience will run more smoothly for everyone involved. Here are a few ways to make sure your organization manages change successfully.
1. Don’t Keep it a Secret
Sometimes, when change is on the horizon, many leaders want to keep the change a secret. This can be a mistake. Ideally, you want to include as many people as possible from the very beginning. When too many secrets are kept from employees, they begin to worry and don’t feel comfortable and safe in their employment. For your employees’ peace of mind and to prevent high turnover rates, transparency is key.
2. Ask for Questions and Ideas
Once you have included many of your employees, you want to hear ideas, concerns, and even questions from them. This will help your employees feel more included in the overall change. Even if these ideas are not feasible, employees will feel more valuable and engaged in the company if you take the time to listen to them.
3. Increase Your Company Communication
If changes are occurring, you cannot let your communication between employees decrease. If substantial changes are happening, your employees may be fearful for their future. There will be many questions and concerns that arise and employees need to receive timely answers from management. If employees don’t feel comfortable in their current job position and lack trust in the decision makers of the company, then you may experience a large turnover. Create a communications plan that comes from the top that answers why the change is happening and why employees should care. Be sure to find the most effective ways to reach employees — including email, text messaging, intranets, one-on-one meetings and town hall type discussions.
4. Follow Up with Employees
Once all the changes are complete, reach out and gather feedback from your employees. Determine how well they are handling the change and ask for suggestions or questions. Your workers may have thoughts on how to improve the current situation and better achieve your company goals.
5. Advocate for the Change
If you want all employees to accept the change, then all management must advocate for the change. If you have certain executives who strongly disagree about the decisions being made and are vocal about their opinion, many employees may as well. This will not create a unified team and will lessen the productivity and success of the entire company.
Keep in mind that a good decision maker is going to listen to employees. This means that if many leaders are fighting a change, it is wise for the decision makers to sit down and determine if the current decision is truly in the best interest of the company.
If you want a large change to run smoothly in your company, it is essential that you increase employee involvement in change management. Be transparent and keep employees involved throughout the entire process. They will feel more valued, engaged, and accepting of all upcoming changes and hiccups that may occur because of the changes.
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