Despite being a small word, change can strike fear in the hearts of those who encounter it.
Though change is constant, it’s relation to the unknown can generate feelings of fear and uncertainty.
This is quite alarming when you consider how important it is for employees to adapt to changing circumstances.
Change is one of a few things that’s guaranteed in the business world, and when it’s not managed correctly there can be undesirable consequences.
Those most affected by change are often not at the heart of planning, despite them being critical stakeholders who will engage with the change on a regular basis.
Change management can be used to align frontline staff with important company initiatives.
When managed correctly change is still unpredictable, but it can at least be introduced in a way that facilitates smooth transitions to new circumstances.
This can be achieved by addressing key opportunities and challenges as early as possible, alongside introducing effective tools and techniques for an optimal outcome.
But how do you go about accelerating change efforts when implementing new techniques?
Well, learning from change management experts is a great place to start.
They have experienced change from various perspectives, so a lot can be gained from leveraging their knowledge.
Intrigued to learn more? Well, fortunately this article has outlined some great tips which have come directly from change management experts themselves.
For further advice on this hot topic, why not check out this great video on how to lead change management:
Is Your Organization Prepared? Change Readiness
The best processes and new approaches can be cultivated behind the scenes with great promise.
But if your team aren’t ready to accept changes, what good are they?
Ultimately it’s people who determine whether change is successful or not.
Many companies make the mistake of jumping in without assessing whether the necessary resources are to hand.
In addition, companies can unintentionally neglect the perspective of their fellow employees, a crucial mistake if there is a negative perception of change in the workforce.
And let’s face it there quite often is, especially when you consider the fear and uncertainty that so often surrounds anything new.
To alleviate this daunting prospect, you can always change the perception of change with some fun activities and exercises!
Assessing the change management readiness of your team begins with the establishment of a cross-functional change planning team.
They’re assembled to identify the resources necessary to complete projects, whether financial, human, or other.
From here a high level project schedule can be drafted, one which maps resources against their availability.
Establishing a change readiness heat map is a great way to get ahead of the game, and this is straight from the mouths of most change management experts!
Change is an inevitable phenomenon, unlike many business processes.
Expectations should be set early, and then stressed often.
Though change is fluid and difficult to plan for, it’s a constant that should be expected.
Too often employees fall into a trap where they perceive their work environment as stable and unchanging.
These individuals face a big shock when things are stirred up, feelings deriving from a lack of expectancy.
Anything that questions employee stability is often rejected, especially when it threatens the status quo of workers.
Employees commonly feel betrayed and less inclined to support company initiatives when they don’t realize in advance changes are coming.
Though you can’t control employee reactions, you can constantly communicate the company vision and keep your team up-to-date with the latest goings on.
You should continuously stress how your organization is dynamic and evolving, and invite your teammates to be part of something special.
You should stress how progress is directly linked with change from as early as onboarding, and continue to do so throughout the employee experience.
By communicating the progressive nature of operations, staff will be less likely to settle into a level of complacency that can prevent things moving forward in the right direction.
Change should be perceived positively, where a development culture is established and promoted.
How Will It Affect Me?
Change can be both positive and negative, but realistically employees will be mostly concerned with is how it will affect them.
The ‘How Will it Affect Me?’ principle should be understood, involving an address of common questions that arise when change is on the the horizon.
When developments takes its course, there’s bound to a dip in productivity as employees acclimate to their new environment.
Giving your employees time is a patient approach which will reap rewards later on.
This is a great way to reduce resistance, and will prove how much you value the effects on staff.
Wisely use empathy to understand change from the perspective of your team.
You might perceive things as exciting from your executive position, but what about those who are responsible for enacting change? How do they feel about things?
Give staff time to work through their reactions, while stressing you’re there for support and open to any feedback and input that will ease the situation for everyone involved.
When employees view change as positive, they’ll adapt quicker and your change goals will be met seamlessly.
Hopefully you appreciate the perspective of change management experts, and can use these tips to remain competitive in your modern business environment.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.