Managing Successful Change
We’ve talked about change before but today I want to touch on how you, as a manager, are responsible for managing successful change within your workplace. There’s really no spectacular magic potion that will make this happen easily. You’ll always have an employee or two who want to resist change, but there are a few things you can do to help the process along.
- Be a model for your employees. Believe it or not, many of them are looking to you to for cues as to how they should react to the change your organisation is going through. If you act bitter, they’ll adopt the same attitude in an effort to align with you. Never forget – your attitude is contagious!
- Remain flexible. The more flexible you are, the more likely your employees will remain flexible. It’s important for everyone involved in the change process to realise that the original plan may need to be tweaked a bit in order to make it work for everyone involved.
- Let your employees make a contribution. Ask your employees, especially those who may be most impacted by the change, what their thoughts are and whether or not they have any ideas. People who have been included in the thought and planning process are usually much more receptive to change.
- Communicate often and honestly. Don’t tip-toe around the change process or its intended results. Let your employees know exactly why you’re making the change, what result you expect to achieve, and how the process will work. Don’t lie. Don’t use vague terms. Just share the truth.
- Be consistent in your support. This sort of works with being a model, but we all know it’s difficult to show our support 100% of the time, especially when things aren’t going well. Make sure that your words and actions are aligned so that there is never any question as to weather or not you support the process or project. Remember – if the process is important to you, it will become important to everyone else involved as well.
Managing change can be incredibly difficult, but with a strong focus and a level head any manager can lead his team through a rough patch. Have you had trouble managing change in the past? Please share your experiences.
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.