Change is not easy for most people to experience.
While moving, changing partners or even graduating from university can be overwhelming examples of change, changes in the workplace can be the most stressful for individuals.
Since people rely on their salaries to afford life’s necessities, any change at work can cause great anxiety for workers, causing them to worry about how the change can possibly affect them.
Organisational change is often unavoidable, and necessary in an professional setting; however, it is important to help staff adapt to this kind of change.
To do so, management must:
Change can be slow or quick to take place; regardless of the pace, taking the time to explain the need for the changes and how they will affect employees is necessary.
For example, you may need to update your software in order to accommodate increasing orders; while this may seem as an easy process to you, some of your employees, especially those that are less technologically-savvy, may worry about what the change will mean for them.
They may stress that if they don’t learn how to use the software quickly, their jobs may be at stake.
This is why it is imperative that managers explain why the change is taking place, and calm the nerves of those affected by explaining expectations and results from the new changes.
Any organisational change can bring chaos if things don’t go according to plan, or can simply disrupt staff’s productivity if they are at a loss for how to work.
Therefore, leaders need to be present when change occurs, and for a time after, to deal with questions, concerns, errors, and other issues.
No matter what you have implemented, its effects can cause uncertainty or hesitation for some workers, which you can deal with if you are present.
It is wise to cancel offsite meetings and check in with employees often in times of change.
Although you may be asking your staff to work harder to implement a needed change, you can bolster their confidence and foster their commitment by sharing how these strategies can help the company succeed.
For example, provide stories of how other business who have implemented these changes have been able to raise sales or provide better customer service.
Or, once the change has taken place, make sure to share results with staff so they can know that their hard work and perseverance played a role in improvements for the firm.
Although change is not easy to deal with emotionally and often difficult to carry out, continuous or sudden organisational change is often necessary to stay ahead of the competition.
Staff’s needs and concerns must be anticipated and addressed in order to help them deal with the change.
Struggle to communicate change? Here’s an article on becoming a better communicator in the office
Head of Training
Originally published: 27 October, 2015
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