The continuous shift in market trends, operational models, technology and the economy as a whole has made it necessary for businesses to adopt new processes to avoid being left behind. In previous articles, we have addressed what change means and how to develop a successful change management strategy, as well as the cost associated with change. Today, we will look at welcoming change in the workplace.
When it comes to implementing change, the manner in which it is delivered is as important as having the right strategy. This entails understanding how people feel and managing their expectations and emotions after the change has been announced. People react to change in different ways regardless of whether or not they have been anticipating such a change. Fear and discomfort are two major emotions people feel during a transition.
Best practices for welcoming workplace change
Acknowledge the change: the first thing to do after a change has been announced is to acknowledge its impact. Acknowledgement here could mean accepting that certain roles and priorities may be different in the sense that new teams might emerge or in some cases, lead to job losses due to reorganisation/restructuring.
Give room to express feelings or emotions that come with the change: people are bound to feel certain emotions which may range from positive to negative depending on the magnitude and significance the change will have on their personal or professional lives. Hence, it is important that employees are allowed to voice their opinions on why they feel a particular way. A channel for feedback should be developed, such as meetings or polls and suggestion boxes where people can express themselves anonymously.
Encourage active participation: employees should be motivated to be involved in change initiatives. This allows for easy integration and speeds up the time taken to adjust to such changes.
Develop a coping mechanism: when there is little or nothing that could be done by employees to control change, it is sometimes best to devise a coping mechanism to help them adjust. For example, employers could make certain arrangements such as setting up a portion of the office to accommodate nursing mothers, assisting employees during relocation as a result of change or even providing an extra allowance for employees who work remotely.
Encourage collective effort: early engagement with employees will boost motivation and adaptation. Employers can provide the resources needed to ensure smooth operations while employees could support by being flexible.
Training and upskilling: certain changes will necessitate acquiring new skills and competencies to ensure successful implementation. Employees must be willing to adapt by learning new concepts and processes. On the other hand, employers must be willing to invest in training their employees.
Importance of welcoming change in the workplace
It opens up opportunities for growth in the workplace
It brings about innovative ways of doing things
It gives room for flexibility
In summary, change is inevitable. Companies and their employees must be open and flexible to change initiatives, with the former sensitively managing implementation and acceptance within their workforce.
Our pragmatic approach to change management can help you or your business to transition smoothly and successfully. Please email us at www.ovacgroup,com for a free consultation.