Change is inevitable in organizational culture. Managing change successfully takes strategy, planning and tons of communication. It’s up to you to ensure that these changes positively affect your work culture and environment so that you can continue building toward a better tomorrow.
Easily manage change in the workplace with these 5 steps:
5 Steps to Managing Change in Business
1. Call to Change
Announce not only the benefits of change but also what can happen if you don’t implement change. Provide thorough research for your claims during meetings to convince your company why everyone needs to be on board. For example, point out that salary levels may drop or competitors may be climbing the charts unless a change is made now. By displaying the need for change with factual evidence, you will convince your employees that change at this time is crucial. Make sure this announcement is face-to-face so that you can directly answer any concerns and questions.
2. A Brighter Future
Help your company envision a brighter future by describing how this change will lead to security in the long run. Conjure specific examples for how the change will affect each employee’s day-to-day work life and celebrate all they have done for the company in the past. These steps will make your team feel valued for their hard work and excited to buy into new ways of working. It is also a great way to show your employees that the change is well thought out with their best interests in mind.
Identify the positive influencers of your business, such as role models and managers who are on board with the change. Have the key influencers create a participation plan to promote a buy-in mentality for the rest of your staff. The plan should include the level of input required by different groups of employees, such as what departments will be in charge of budgets, logistics, decision-making, etc. Participation plans will break down how each employee will contribute and in turn should eliminate ambiguity employees may be experiencing about the change. Do not forget to identify key influencers who are skeptical and reluctant to change. Have an open door policy for them to discuss their fears and insecurities. Put their concerns into perspective and work towards a compromise, if possible.
4. Measurable Expectations
People become motivated when achievement is visible, tangible and measurable. Motivate your staff by showcasing visible goals and reports, such as graphs and charts to indicate progress from the new procedures. It also wouldn’t hurt to reward your employees with bonuses, increased pay, or something as simple as publicized praise based on their progress in meeting short-term goals. Measurable expectations and rewards show your team that constant communication and support are now also a part of the change.
Schedule informal follow-up reviews. When new methods have been implemented, it is common for employees to slip and behave as they used to. To ensure that change is successful, plan to review your employees a couple weeks after the change. This allows you to immediately address any slip-ups early on instead of waiting for a yearly review to fix simple issues. Following up reassures your company that an open door policy still stands and that they will have your undivided support even after the change has already been executed.
Any change in the workplace can meet complications and resistance. The keys to managing change successfully are as simple as planning ahead, selling your vision, and providing continuous support.