Change is something that we often deal with many times a day, and many of us will not often give it a second thought. Applying this mentality to changes in the workplace of today will not do you any favours as you need give it thought in order to support your staff and your business to adapt and evolve through change.
Change management consultants will be the first to tell you that flexibility is the key to ensuring a successful outcome. Staff may be uncomfortable with the planned changes, and some may be worried for their future. Or, they may generally dislike change, no matter what the reason. The likelihood though, is it will happen with their help or without it. However, from a leadership point of view, having staff on board with any changes could make the process much smoother.
How your staff react to change can have a huge impact on your business. Given that it change is often out of their control and not optional, the better placed they are to handle it, the more successful they and you are likely to emerge.
A willingness to embrace change will ensure that the path through the change is far less rocky. After all, a path walked willingly is far less a struggle than one where people are dragged along. Those seen to be accepting of change, showing flexibility and maintaining a positive attitude will be a more valuable asset for the company. Those who resist and complain will make life harder not just for themselves but for all. However, it is up to the leadership team of a business to foster a sense of supporting people through change, and this requires clear communication of why change needs to happen.
Listening to your staff and evolving your plan
Change in the workplace can be a major source of anxiety. It is easy for some staff to read any proposed change as a cost cutting exercise which could lead to job losses, skills becoming redundant or perhaps at best an uncomfortable working environment. Talking through the reasons for change and how your employees could be engaged with that change means listening to what they have to say and using the feedback given to adopt changes to your plan to grease the wheels and ensure that your staff feel like they’re retaining some form of control over their own roles.
How To Prepare
Once you have communicated the need for change to your staff, look at whether broadening their skill sets, or giving them new information and technology could help. Be seen as willing, adaptable and accepting of their point of view if it is valid, but ensure that any unnecessary anxieties are explained away fully so that you are well able to effect change with your staff fully on board. If it is the speed of change or that the change is massive in terms of how it affects them that is the problem, consider whether you can break the stages of change down into small, easy to digest changes. These could be accepted far more than sweeping changes that change someone’s job beyond all recognition.
While there may be necessary changes your business has to go through, evolving and changing your plans to suit the lynchpins of your business (the staff), is far more likely to bring effective change that truly makes a difference to your business.