It can seem easier to resist or ignore change. And if you are a leader or business owner, it can be tempting to just hope that your people come on board.
The reality is: if you don’t manage or deal with change, you’ll have all sorts of problems. So your ability to understand your staff’s views and needs, and manage them through the process, can bring more success and better business results.
The best way to do this is to consider the change before it even begins to take place. Developing a structured plan and getting feedback from employees is vital if you want to avoid costly problems from resistance to change, cultural issues and a messy re-structure.
Here are five key steps for successful change in the workplace:
- Project a good mindset
- Be willing to communicate with new people
- Understand hesitance in others
- Be aware of short term and long term change
- Reflect on your roots and embrace the growth
Project a good mindset
Being part of change in the workplace can be emotionally draining. Your team may feel demotivated, perhaps thanks to a slow rate of change or lack of support. By projecting a positive outlook on where you are at with the change, you will not only help yourself feel better, you will also help others around you to feel increasingly motivated. Being positive makes you more approachable and will encourage colleagues to work with you.
Be willing to communicate with new people
To successfully transition teams, make time to interact with new people, and help yourself and others to adjust to new roles. It is important to address informal changes such as becoming acquainted with new colleagues. This helps encourage people to feel comfortable with the workplace changes. It is important to recognise that it is very common for people to feel nervous in new social situations.
Understand hesitance in others
Managing resistance to change can be as difficult as making the change itself. It is a natural part of the process, so it’s good to understand that employees will be hesitant to change. Acknowledging the reasons for resistance will help you and others to develop a compromise, or explain why the change must be made. If people feel they are heard, they are more likely to embrace the change.
Be aware of short-term and long-term change
It is important to accept that change takes time. Making drastic changes can instantly push a business and its employees over the edge. So if you don’t see significant change arrive straight away, that’s okay. In the short-term, small changes are more likely to happen. In the long-term this also makes integrating your teams a lot easier.
Reflect on your roots and embrace the growth
The roots of your business are still important to consider. Reflecting on successes and bringing these successes to light is important because it will help employees feel proud of what the business achieved – and help them move towards new achievements. After you’ve reflected on past successes, it is then time to embrace the new growth of the company. Clearly stating this transition will then help to promote the change and help employees to understand the benefits of it.