Humans are hardwired to resist change, so it’s only natural that change within a company will require a transition period. Even if the change is going to help your team gain efficiencies, disruption is hard when people are comfortable with their current routines. If you want to make the transition smoother, here are some techniques for managing change in the workplace.

Techniques for Managing Change in the Workplace

Have a Plan in Place

A clearly laid out plan is necessary when enforcing organizational change to ensure each person is aware of the change and understands the why behind it. When making a major organizational change, it could affect every department in your business differently. A detailed plan must include:

  • What you are communicating (What are your key messages?)
  • Why you are communicating (What is the purpose?)
  • When (What day and time?)
  • To what audience (Who is presenting the message? Who is hearing it?)
  • How often (Weekly? Monthly?)
  • In which format (Face to face? Presentations? Memos?)

This will make sure each employee is addressed and that the change is properly communicated to them and their needs to avoid confusion and foster trust. A plan should always be on your list of techniques for managing change in the workplace.

Address Fear

It’s inevitable for your employees to develop fear when change comes about. For example, if you decide to start doing performance evaluations, your employees could be worried that they will be penalized or even fired for their mistakes. You must think of what your employees will fear, and address those fears when announcing change. This will help ease them into it and help you avoid an anxiety-ridden workplace. Since it is natural that your employees will have a knee-jerk reaction of fear, this is one of the first techniques for managing change in the workplace to keep in mind.

Be Honest

If it’s considered a negative change, like payroll cuts or downsizing, being honest is one of the most important techniques for managing change in the workplace. Trying to put a positive spin on letting go of employees will never go over well. If you’re trying to hide the facts, your employees will feel belittled and may “rebel” in providing poor quality work. If they think you don’t care about them and their feelings, then there will be a loss of care in their efforts. Present the facts and be human about it, remember that people’s livelihoods could be at stake.

Manage Expectations

Businesses are going through rapid development every day, and chances are this won’t be the last change you make. But, you need to ensure that your employees know this and that they are aware of what to expect for the future. Even if they aren’t comfortable with change, they need to be comfortable with the idea of it. COVID-19 is sure to cause more change in your organization, whether that’s switching permanently to remote work or realigning your culture. Make sure your employees know what’s on the horizon.

Keep in mind that this also means managing your expectations; you can’t expect employees to accept it and move on. Change will not happen overnight, and your employees’ feelings will not change overnight either. But, these techniques for managing change in the workplace will help your company and your employees evolve.

Stay Confident

If your employees see you falter in your confidence, then they will feel an instability. By keeping a brave face, you will reassure them that this change is for the better and that they should embrace it. An uncertain workforce will lead to a decline in productivity, and a major organizational shift could be your downfall. Keep your head on straight and stay rational. You carefully weighed the outcome of this change and decided to go ahead with it. Don’t backtrack due to your employees’ fear. This is one of the critical techniques for managing change in the workplace for executives.

Leave Room for Dialogue

Each of your employees will have different reactions and perceptions to the change, so keep an “open door” policy while the change is implemented. If they can come and talk to you about their concerns, then you can put those concerns to bed and help your departments feel at ease with the change. Your employees will need time to digest the information and may develop new feelings, so keep the communication lines open before, during, and after the change. If you notice that an employee is struggling, then reach out to them. Don’t let your workforce feel they are being left behind by using these techniques for managing change in the workplace.

Communication is key in each of these techniques for managing change in the workplace. If you don’t know where to start in developing a precise communication plan for your organizational change, then you’ll want to contact us today. PeopleWorks International has consulted many big name brands on their change management and can help you switch gears effectively.

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