Change…..the New Normal

September 23, 2016 by  

In today’s rapidly changing world of technology, worker values, political forces and organization structures, individuals who cannot adapt to change are going to struggle in the workplace. In addition, change is not readily accepted by humans as they prefer the status quo and what they know.
Most people fear change and when that emotion pervades a company culture, performance is lowered, sick days increase, and even turnover can occur. Therefore, in order to reduce those common side effects, a strong change plan must be established and employed because “Change is the event and transition is the process.”

Without a good change plan, with several back up positions when it does not totally unfold as expected, your change event will not occur. So a great multi-layered approach definitely needs to be created and put into operation. In addition, the leadership must be strongly committed to this new vision for the company and be able to demonstrate that commitment to the rest of the organization.
So in your business, what can you do to make sure that when that inevitable changes comes along that you will be able to get your employees on board?

Here are some key issues to consider when you are facing change:
1. The leadership needs a clear vision of how they wish to move forward.
2. Compelling reasons why this change will be beneficial to everyone need to be developed and shared with the organization.
3. A practical means to achieve this vision needs to be planned out, well developed and then implemented. A specific time line should also be established for the outcome.
4. Certain rewards and consequences should be offered to encourage behaviours compatible with the vision and change.
5. Clear lines of communication need to be established so that open, honest, and effective exchanges can occur and employees will feel comfortable to offer feedback. In this way, concerns can be addressed and rumors deflected and explained away….as they will abound. In addition the key issues that need to be addressed are the risks, the benefits, the resources, the reasons. All need to be very definitely explained in ways that are positive.
6. A strong support system must be implemented to allow the employees time, help, and encouragement as they learn what has to be done, how it will happen, and what their new responsibilities may be. The better they understand how it will affect them, and are made to feel confident that they will succeed, the better the chance that this change event will actually happen with most people ultimately onboard with it.

If you are to effect a successful change in your organization you need to fully understand the issues that you will face, the resistance you will find, and the challenges you will encounter in order to make it happen. Be aware of the necessity for patience, active listening, clear communication of your vision, a strong demonstration of the commitment to this change and an understanding that this will not be an easy process.

Finally, if you want employees to celebrate new beginnings, you will need to provide opportunities for them to mourn the past and to let go of familiar ways of doing their work. Even as this change is, hopefully, a gain for your organization, it is also a loss of what is known and comfortable.
People may lose co-workers, work processes they know and understand, familiar ways of doing things, established communication networks, security and stability, or confidence in their own capability. Acknowledge those losses, so that you can assist people to move more quickly with you into the brave new world.

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