In today’s labour market, there is constant change. Gone are the days when workers spent their entire lives at one company. Now, companies are merging, being bought out, closing, or moving overseas. These activities lead to change in work scope, the working environment, and change in leadership. If you are managing a department that is undergoing some change, it is best that you help your employees deal with the changes. The more prepared and equipped your staff is, the less interruption there will be to the working day. Follow these tips to help your employees deal with change. 1. Be Honest – As a manager, you are most likely privy to certain sensitive information prior to it becoming public to your entire company. Say you know that a merger is coming, and it will surely mean that some employees may be let go. The worst decision to make is to do nothing, and let employees find out watching the news with the rest of the public. Gather your employees, and break the news to them yourself. Make sure they know exactly what is happening and what they can expect. Be upfront and honest with them. They will obviously be anxious and upset, but they will truly appreciate your honesty in the long run. 2. Prepare Staff – As a supervisor, you want to do your best to prepare your subordinates for the upcoming changes. If you know that sales are low, for example, and your entire department will need to spend the next few months working weekends to attempt to make up the difference in sales, prepare your staff. Whatever the negative or upsetting news is, do your due diligence into getting your team ready for the new adjustments. The more prepared your staff is, the better and quicker they will be able to adapt to the change. 3. Introduce Gradual Change – One of the best tactics of helping employees adapt to changes is to make gradual variations in their daily working lives. Say you need to completely restructure the hierarchy of your department. While you may think that it’s better to do everything at once, that may lead to shock and chaos at the workplace. Some people deal well with change, while others have a very hard time with it. Therefore, try and make gradual changes, if possible. This will give everyone time to come to terms with the adjustments, and learn how to work well in their new roles. Change is never easy as it requires new adjustments. Managers need to know how to introduce change, and prepare their employees for the changes ahead. Knowing how to do so will lead to less chaos and less disruption to the workflow.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 12 November, 2014
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