Change is inevitable despite the size of any company or organisation. This is true now more so than ever. The reasons for change can be due to several factors including economic cycles, new technologies and cultural shifts to name a few.
Leading companies through a period of change isn’t easy. As a leader in this movement, you must remain consistent and transparent throughout the process and ensure to follow through. When changes are made, employees go through mental and emotional adjustments so using emotional intelligence is crucial. In order to maintain company culture and retain staff, follow these 5 simple steps to ensure a smooth process:
Address the change
As a leader in the change, despite big or small, you must be able to clearly outline the proposed changes and the reasons behind the change coming about. You will need to be able to explain the plan of action to implement the change and what it means to the company as a whole. In addition to laying out the plan in clear terms, let employees know how you intend to update them as the change initiative unfolds. Will you call a special meeting each week to update them on the change? Send out a weekly email?
Listen and acknowledge any feedback
This doesn’t need to be a formal process. This can be a casual conversation with the whole team or different departments. Depending on the size of the business, you could organise one to ones to collect the feedback from each team player and discover their issues moving forward with the proposed changes. The company’s overall voice must be taken into consideration and heard and this will help with the transition of the process. The most important thing to do is to acknowledge the feedback.
The question of why will be on everybody’s mind when change is initiated. Uncertainty feeds anxiety; knowledge calms it. By explaining in detail why the change has come about and how it will aid the company to move forward will help ease the mind of many employees. If the change is for the good of the employee for example saving them time during the working day and easing pressure by implementing an automated process, then tell them this.
Provide support & training
Whether the change may be a new software or procedure, each staff member will need to be trained for the changes to be effective. Give additional time and support to those who you think may need it. A one-off training session may not be sufficient for some people to grasp the new context or role they are undertaking.
There will be some who help support the change process more than others. Be sure to reward these employees for their efforts during this time and make it known that it didn’t go unnoticed. The acknowledgement may also encourage others to adapt to the change and see that it is for the good of the company. Once the change is complete, be sure to acknowledge and thank everyone involved with the process and reward them accordingly.
It’s no secret that calls to change can provoke especially intense resistance. By planning the change process in advance can maintain morale as well as ease any discomfort caused by the changes taking place. If you require any support or advice on the matter, then please get in touch with us today.