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Employees Can & Do Thrive on Change

by Olivia Henson

We all know change is inevitable!

Change, as many people would know, is inevitable. And every leader should be fully prepared for it, but it is when it is packaged and presented as a “done deal” that issues can arise with employee engagement. Employees have been known to thrive on change and do better for being part of changes that impact upon them. Usually, after a short period of assimilation and understanding, they begin to see it as the norm. I think part of the issue is companies worrying too much about employee acceptance, but as adults, we've learned to change and evolve. We just need to be treated as adults!

Intentional Change Is Better Than Imposed Change - Here's why!

Many employees we’ve supported through the transitional stages of change, initially reviewed change as disruptions in their plans and routines, especially when change is imposed. It’s best to think of how you can work with change through involvement and empowerment. Here are some ideas to help change run smoothly..

Preparation of the mindset: when the employees have prior knowledge that change is coming, they are prepared for whatever might happen. When a leader has given the employees a real reason for this change, many of them would see themselves as part of the change process. Give them responsibilities and allow suggestions to flow to create more successful change. Often employees can think of the detail of their jobs and understand bottlenecks better than their managers. Create feedback mechanisms and act on suggestions for better ways of doing things.

Reduce any Tension: at a point in the stage of creating or implementing change, if you allow employees to be a part of it, they would have a reason to voice their concern. Thereby, giving them a role to play in the effect of the change which will create a more positive increase in their engagement within the workplace.

Seeing the big picture: since it is an intentional change, it would give them a reason to see how they fit into the big picture.

Managing Change Tips

1. Let people take their time: One of the most efficient ways of seeing the result of the change is to allow time play its part. When an employee had just started his or her work in the new position, the Leader creates enough space for mindsets to adjust. They also need to be present and supportive. A top tip is to ask employees to log any issues they are experiencing and to discuss them in weekly huddles until the change is embedded.

2. Make Communication Timely: Try to inform the employees that they would experience change as they progress in carrying out their duties. This would prepare their mind for what is next.

3. Avoid packaging a negative change as beneficial: Don’t expect employees to accept change as positive, especially if it changes roles and responsibilities unnecessarily. There’s often consultation periods to consider if there is going to be redeployment activity or aspects of change which could impact on their terms and conditions and legislative rights. Leaders need to be change-savvy, obtain appropriate HR advice, and they need to know the best and right way to make effective change.

 

Finally, despite having their specific skills, employees love to be encouraged and rewarded differently. However, what they want the most is to be valued. Enrichen duties, provide different challenges and skills development, especially where there are new systems or processes to come to terms with will help them settle into change more easily.

 

If you would like to increase your sucess in managing change, book our online course “Leading Change to Engage your Employees”.

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