Change is necessary to keep your business afloat for the long term, but it’s not always embraced by employees.Even the smallest shift can put people out of their comfort zone and make them feel insecure.
Thankfully, even the most stubborn people can learn to accept change, if it’s presented in the right way. Learn how to get your staff to embrace the transformation headed their way.
Keep Employees in the Loop
Help your team accept change by being upfront about it. Give them as much advance notice as possible, so they don’t feel like they’ve been kept in the dark. Chaos ensues when people are caught off guard because they need time to process the adjustment and get used to it. In most cases, people warm up to change when they have time to adequately prepare.
Explain the Reason for the Change
When rooted in mystery, change can quickly send the rumor mill into overdrive. If you don’t offer an explanation, people will jump to their own conclusions, and that can lead to widespread panic. Sometimes change is positive, other times it’s not, but you owe it to your team to be honest. It’s much easier for people to accept something new when they know why it’s happening.
Get Them Involved in the Transition
It’s hard for employees to sit back and watch change happen, so make them part of the shift. Ask them to help define new processes and procedures as their workday will be hugely impacted by them. This will make staffers feel valued, and help you come up with a new system that meets their approval.
Adapting to a new routine is hard for many people. This becomes much easier when they’re able to make new policies their own, instead of having to conform to someone else’s plan. This is a smart way to boost morale and create an initiative that meshes with employees.
Clearly Define Each Person’s Role
Whether the change is the addition of a new team member or a shift in business strategy, employees’ responsibilities will likely be adjusted — at least a bit. Get everyone on the same page from the start by explaining how each person will be impacted. This ensures no tasks will fall through the cracks and will keep people from stepping on each other’s toes. Change becomes a lot more doable for employees when they know exactly what’s expected of them.
Be Present and Available
When something new is introduced to the team, it takes time to work out the kinks. Expect things to be a little rocky at first. Check in with employees regularly to see how things are going and be available to answer their questions. Your presence can ease the transition, so reassure everyone they’re doing great and make them feel comfortable in their new groove.