Embracing Change to Improve Output in the Workplace
These days, the ability to embrace change is key to the success of any business. No matter what industry you find yourself in, the stakes are high and competition is likely even higher. Being receptive and adaptive to changes within your industry is one of the best ways to remain innovative and become a major player, and “embracing change ensures that your team is open to opportunities that may arise.” ( Aldaleh) Of course, getting your employees to embrace change is often easier said than done, which is why it’s helpful for business leaders and decision-makers to remember a few tips along the way.
Have a Detailed Plan
Nothing is worse than enacting a change within an organization without a proper plan. Employees need to see that a particular decision for change has been carefully planned and thought-out in order to fully support it. Before you share information or announce a change to your employees, then, create a written plan with a detailed timeline so workers will know how the intended change will affect them in the immediate future as well as years down the road. This should include a discussion of objectives for your company as well. As part of your plan, you should also better prepare yourself by brainstorming the types of questions workers may have about the change and articulate careful responses to them.
Frame Discussions Carefully
Change is a scary prospect for many employees—especially the ones who have been working for your company for a long time and have gotten used to the way things are already operating. When you make an announcement about a change to your employees, then, it’s important that you frame the discussion carefully. Keep things optimistic and make the future sound exciting; the way you talk about a planned change can really help to frame the way the workers who look up to you will perceive it. For example, if you’re making the announcement to merge two of the departments within your company, explain the transition as something that’s exciting and designed to make employees’ lives easier. The same goes for implementing a new software program or other technology that employees may be intimidated by or uncomfortable with at first.
Be Responsive to Feedback
Upon announcing a change to your employees, make sure you end the discussion with an invitation for workers to follow up with any questions or concerns they may have, but make sure you’re clear about the fact that the decision has been made and the policy/change will be implemented. Still, as a leader, you should make yourself available to answer questions and address potential concerns so that you can help employees feel more comfortable about the change and gradually work towards getting the entire team on-board, if they’re not already.
Even once a change is implemented, your work as a leader is not complete. You owe it to your employees to keep them up-to-date on how things are progressing and providing them with timely updates that discuss how the change is helping the company reach achieve its desired outcomes, along with any challenges that you may currently be facing. Keeping the lines of communication open and providing employees with regular updates will help them feel “in-the-loop” and will also allow them to see how the change is benefiting them and the company as a whole. For instance, if you implemented a new software program, be sure to show employees how the program is “working” in terms of increased productivity or reduced costs. Visuals such as charts and graphs can be helpful here.
Getting employees to embrace change isn’t always an easy task, but with the right amount of preparation and communication, you can get your employees on-board and improve output in the workplace as a result.