You’ve heard the old adage: If there’s one constant in business, it’s that change is inevitable. Also inevitable is employee resistance to change; there will always be some who do not welcome – and maybe even fear – change. The role of leadership during the transition cannot be underestimated; it has a definite impact on the process and the outcome.
Here are a few guidelines for effectively leading employees through organizational change:
State your case. Be prepared to clearly explain the need for the change – the why, how and what it means for employees and customers. Leaders can help prevent speculation and worry by explicitly spelling out the implications and expectations for their teams.
Allow team input in the process. Share the company’s vision for the change and gather employees’ input. Let them ask questions and provide feedback. Put the issues on the table and allow team members to influence the process for making improvements. Giving staffers a voice in organizational change helps create buy-in for the transition.
Communicate early and often. Communication is king when it comes to organizational change. Make it a priority to communicate changes as early as possible. Be sure to keep everyone fully abreast of developments and ensure that employees understand the end goal. Provide opportunities to share ideas, concerns, comments, and suggestions throughout the change period.
Never let them see you sweat. Acknowledge that employees may have fears or concerns but stay strong for your team. Remaining calm under pressure will help prevent panic, which is wildly contagious. Projecting an image of confidence is a must.
Focus on the positives. Transformation means looking ahead to the future, rather than dwelling on the past. At a certain point, the focus must shift to the positive outcomes that will result from this somewhat stressful time. Remind your team to keep doing their best work and recognize their accomplishments.
Navigating change is never as simple as it seems. Employees are human beings and have real feelings about change. Getting them involved early on and maintaining a transparent transition will help ensure a smoother process and the ultimate goal of success.
Need additional guidance?
MHN is here to help. MHN’s management consultants provide professional guidance and support for managing difficult workplace situations, troubled employees and job performance issues. Our consultants have a unique background in professional counseling, human resources and business, allowing them to offer the insight, assessment, feedback, and action plans that are right for your managers and employees. MHN’s services include management consultation, Job Performance Referrals, onsite critical incident response services and Department of Transportation referrals. To learn more, please call 1-800-327-7526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is for informational and self-help purposes only. It should not be treated as a substitute for financial, medical, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice, or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified professional.
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