Change in business is inevitable, so when you are going through structural change it’s your job to make it easier and clear. When you make a change employees will automatically think “how will this affect me?” Also, whenever you make a change 20% of your employees will support it, 20% of your employees will be against it and 60% of your employees are not sure if this is a good or bad thing.
The key to any change is planning and communication (if you get anything from that article remember that point). Change can be a nightmare when it lacks planning and has poor delivery. Leaders need to communicate so that employees understand and are ready to adjust and recover as soon as possible. Here are a few tips for success
- Plan and spend more time on communication. Often a company make a change, has a company wide meeting and then its back to work. You need to do more, so plan smaller team meetings, one-on-one meetings, follow up meetings, etc. The bigger the change more communication is needed. You need to allow people to ask questions and hear the message more than once. Remember, everyone wants to know how this affects them personally.
- Training and preparing your team leads. You need to ensure that your leaders are ready to communicate the right message and be advocates for the change. Spend time training and preparing them to be able to answer employee questions. They will either help or make the change worst. Involve them as early as possible and get them ready to support the change.
- Share the message of why we need change. People will always support a change more when they know the why. Ensure your employee know the back story as to why change is needed and why the current method is not working. The more employees know the why the more likely they will support the change.
- Employee participation is key. People don’t like change and there are two things that make it worst; lack of control and uncertainty. You can improve on those things if you involve the employees. Show respect and provide autonomy when possible. Give them options and allow them to make suggestions on how to implement change. In doing that people feel like they have more control.
Change is never easy but with proper planning and communication you will see better success. As mentioned above, 20% of people will support change. Those people may be more optimistic, understanding or even love change. The other 20% may hate change or are pessimistic. The rest of the people can go either way, so you better be ready with a plan and tell them how it is. With out communication you risk having the non-supports telling them why the change is bad. Now you have 80% of your people not supporting the change. Prepare and communicate or get ready to roll the dice.