Mergers, acquisitions, franchising, new software implementation, a new marketing strategy… these are all common happenings in today’s business world that require change to occur in the organisation.
Change is the new status quo with increased globalisation and the internet, but not everyone at your company is always ready and willing to embrace change.
Common problems that leaders encounter in the face of change include “persistent reduction in output, increase in the number of ‘quits’ and requests for transfer, chronic quarrels, sullen hostility, wildcat or slowdown strikes, and, of course, the expression of a lot of pseudological reasons why the change will not work.”
How can you deal with colleagues that are resistant to change?
Prepare For Change
One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to your employees jumping on the change wagon is the fact that they’re simply not prepared for it.
Managers are always privy to upcoming changes, but they don’t understand that they need to extend that courtesy to their staff.
It is one thing to know that a change in procedures is coming months in advance and mentally prepare, it is another thing to hear about it in a meeting and be expected to embrace that change the same moment.
To help your colleagues deal with change, make sure that they are prepared and ready to face it.
The first step should always be to make sure your staff knows that change is ever-present in your environment, and allow them to understand that you will be by their side in order to understand the changes and help them deal with them.
Involve Them In The Process
Another factor that creates resistance to change is when managers take it upon themselves to change the status quo without input from employees.
When introducing a new software system or an operational change, it is beneficial to both the company, the manager and the employees if they are involved in the process.
As they will be the ones to do the daily work, their input can actually help to personalise and improve the change in order to work better for everyone involved.
Plus, since they will be involved in the change management process, they will be more open to the changes ahead.
Change does not always need to be decided upon by leadership and passed down to staff.
In order to go from change resistance to the anticipation and acceptance of change, encourage your employees to be creative and innovative.
Once your staff members know that you expect them to always be thinking about how to improve operations and sales, they will be motivated to help you move your department into the future.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 24 November, 2017
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