One of the greatest challenges that most businesses face today is the culture of driving change in their work places. Unless we learn how to embraces change, it will always remain to be the biggest problem come next year and also the year after that, just like an incurable disease. Change challenges the organization ability to create or improve value for its customers, thereby remaining relevant in the industry.
It is very important that managers understand how to actively engage their teams and lead their businesses while collaborating around culture of change because when it come change nobody is as smart as the whole community in the organization. The organization has to continuously identify and resolve change issues, come up with new ways to work and find new ways to expand and grow. This is a never ending battle that needs to be fought in order to stay in the industry.
Change is not only needed when it comes to producing more innovative products and services but also in the complexity of the work process, communication protocol, cost structures, employee engagement, work environment and many more areas within the workplace.
Insider Tips on Driving Change in the Workplace
1. First, recognize that change really exists and has to happen at some point
Just as the say goes, when you are a child, you used to think, act and speak as a child but when you become an adult, you put all your childish ways away and behave like a grown up. It’s pretty clear that we change our live as we continue growing older so why should our workplaces be any different?
Refusing to embrace change and continue with your old days will only worsen the situation making life difficult. The more mangers and employees of any organization understand that change is real and will happen in future, the less surprised or upset they will when they come across situation where change is the only solution.
2. Recognize the change stages
Since the reactions to change in an organization resembles to the death of close relation, it has to be progressive introduced into the organization in subsequent stages to avoid sudden impact that can cause loss to the organization. At early stages of introduction of change, there is going to be a state of shock and denial, anger and guilt. Employees will refuse to believe what is happening and often console themselves that things will go back to normal. Later on, they will slowly come to term of change then move on.
In other instances, a negotiation stage has to be included in the whole change process, where affected employees work hard to prevent the initiation of change. Although, it is not necessary for all these stages to have to happen, adequate time has to be allocated to enable change to slowly take effect.
3. Enable good communication within the organization
A good communication system is very important especially when the organization is facing change. Lack or poor communication with the employees can result to negative impact while positive will ensure that everyone understands what the company is going through hence more likely to embrace it.
From a clear stand point, managers need to have detailed information about the change so that they can access how it is going to affect the organization. Don’t sit back and wait for miracle to happen but talk to your boss and all your co-workers and get them to understand what is happening. When doing this, be warned because the news can be distorting and yield mixed rumors that are not good at the workplace.
4. Conduct a self assessment
When you are planning to introduce change in organization, ensure that you have done a self assessment analysis. You can use a SWOT analysis when carrying on your assessment which gets to analysis your organization strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will help you understand the kind of strengths that you have and what you need to done so as to improve. By understanding your position in the industry it will become easier to induce change in areas that you are not satisfied with. Never skip this step if you want to successful drive change in your organization.
5. Be flexible
Change requires high flexibility for it to successful. The sooner you learn how to adapt to any change the greater the chances that you will be successful. After completing the organization assessment, take a look at the requirements that you need to effect the change. Maybe your current workplace does not fit exactly into it. However, with your current skills, you can find ways in which you can apply in the newly introduced change. In short, for maximum flexibility, focus on the similarities of the two situation rather than the differences that exist.
If you want to embrace change successful look at the similarities and leverage the already existing knowledge and make plans to address the shortcoming that come with it. Also think in the same way on how you can appropriate adapt your skills to newly introduced environment.
6. Stay positive in your attitude and actions
Although, this is out of the books, staying positive during driving change in the workplace can help when dealing with uncertainties that come with it. For instance; instead of getting worried about what change will bring, focus on how to leverage your initial skills and experiences. Look for opportunities in the newly changed organization that you can fit in instead of drowning in fear of loss of job. Get involved in the new changes and you will hasten your adjustments to fit right in.
Change can be disruptive and frightening but with the right actions and attitude you will realize that there are far more opportunities that come with change. Learn how to shift your energy from denial and worries, by embracing the change before it kicks you out of the industry. The management also has to be patient when it is driving change in the organization, change should be a continuous process because a wide part of the organization is involved.
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.