Being an employer in today’s world means that you have to be prepared to help your employees deal with constant change. You have to be able to identify the changes, anticipate their effects on your organization and have the strategies in place to support those affected by the change. That’s where effective leadership comes in – being able to manage and mitigate the effects of change through communication, training and support mechanisms. It sounds simple, but it’s definitely not easy! Here are five ways that you can help your employees adapt to change so that they are ready when faced with new challenges at work or in their personal lives.
How do you feel when your job is changing? Are you ready for a new challenge or does it leave you feeling scared and stressed out? Some people are excited about change but others find it nerve-wracking. Workplace changes can be difficult because of a number of different reasons including everything from not knowing what comes next, losing a connection with co-workers and more. Teams and organizations that can handle these changes well may be more successful than those who cannot.
Change is a constant in life and sometimes that means having to accept things you aren’t comfortable with. For many people, though, change is uncomfortable. That discomfort usually manifests itself as resistance or not my problem attitudes. A key part of being a great leader—or even just surviving in an organization—is helping your team members (and yourself) deal with change effectively.
1. Establish a clear purpose for each team member.
2. Provide ample training and education on what’s changing, why it matters, and how they can succeed in helping your company accomplish its goals and objectives.
3. Give every employee a full opportunity to embrace new processes and thinking before making any changes (unless speed is of the essence).
4. Make sure you have open lines of communication with all staff members so that no one feels like he or she is being left out or doesn’t understand what’s going on.
5. Be aware that some people may be more resistant to change than others—and don’t ignore those who are struggling or seem unhappy about adjusting to your new way of doing things.
6. If an employee still isn’t adapting after giving him or her time to adjust, consider whether there might be other reasons for his or her resistance.
7. Be flexible as much as possible when dealing with individuals who are resisting change; sometimes all it takes is a little extra attention and reassurance from management to get them back on track.
Research shows that it’s not just bad managers who drive employees away, but also those who push them too hard in positive ways. Letting employees run with an idea or working remotely are two examples of how you can free your team from office walls and let them do what they do best—while supporting your organization’s goals.
If your business is like most, you’re facing a constant stream of changes. Whether it’s competition, legislation or technology, every day brings new challenges and new opportunities. Your ability to react nimbly and effectively is key to success. We have to be ready to adapt to change.
Want to help your employees? Check out this article on Balancing Empathy and Facts with your Team.