Adapting to change is never easy. This is particularly true in the workplace. Employees get used to things being done in certain ways, and when those ways begin to change, it can send them into a tailspin. This is not good for employee satisfaction or productivity. Managers have the unique opportunity and responsibility to help employees adapt to change as quickly and easily as possible.
3 Secrets to Getting Employees Through Times of Change
Most companies are in a constant state of change. Company leaders are invested in moving organizations toward cultural change, increased sales, and growth. The only way these changes can be realized is with the full participation of employees, and this can only happen when workers are guided through the rough waters of transition. Shawn Casemore, president and founder of Casemore and Company, Inc., suggests that there are three secrets to getting employees through times of change:
1. Ask for employees’ feedback and ideas before you implement changes. “If an employee believes change is a direct result of his ideas or feedback, there is a better chance that he will accept the change,” said Casemore.
2. When discussing coming changes with employees, emphasize the benefits it will have directly upon them, not just the company.
3. Consistently focus on the positive aspects of corporate change. Casemore wrote, “focusing continuously on the positive benefits (rather than the risks, pitfalls, and obstacles) has a better chance at creating buy-in as a result of the positive feelings this would create in employees.”
Leading by Example is Key to Helping Employees Adapt to Change
Getting feedback from employees prior to implementing a change, emphasizing the benefits workers will reap from the change, and focusing primarily on the change’s positive aspects are all good ways to help employees adapt more easily to disruption. Managers can promote adaptation to change even more quickly by simply leading by example. Time’s article Helping Employees Adapt to Strategic Change says,
“Managers should change their own behavior first (before implementing a strategic change) so that employees want to follow suit…they should create a sense that ‘we are all in this together’ and become empathetic to employees’ needs…by appealing to what makes people tick, you can achieve better results.”
Read more about leading by example in Workplace Expectations’ article Be the Change You Want to See in Your Workforce.
When Corporate Changes Loom Ahead, Communicate with Employees
Communication with employees is crucial when initiating strategic changes in the workplace. Change is de-stabilizing, and communication can still some of the shakiness that it brings. Keeping staff in-the-know about change before it comes is also an effective way to build trust with them.
Is change in your company’s future? If so, commit to helping your employees adapt to it.
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