No matter what the size of your business, change within the organisation is almost certainly an inevitability. Change in an organisation can stem from a variety of factors that include:
- Lack of growth
- Change in economic cycles
- External and internal factors
- Shifts in competitive landscape
- Company restructuring
The above-mentioned factors are only a few of the reasons that a business may be seeking, or in need of change. Regardless of what the issues motivating change are, it is critical that your staff is both willing and able to adapt to the changes that need to happen. In this article we will be discussing the importance of change in the workplace, and how to best help your staff to embrace these changes.
Inform Staff of Change Before It Occurs
One of the biggest mistakes that management makes when embarking on change within the workplace is keeping staff completely out of the loop as to why, and when these changes are going to occur. Regardless of whether these changes will be major or minor, the leader of the group will need to clearly explain what these changes are about, why they need to happen, and how important it is that the entire team be on board with these changes. This should occur before these changes are set in motion to give staff the opportunity to properly absorb these changes, and ready themselves for their new responsibilities. Change management training for key personnel could help get the message across well.
In order to ensure that any organisation runs smoothly, there has to be plenty of opportunity for the team’s voice to be heard. This is especially true when there is a change on the horizon. Many organisations are turning to organisational change management consultants to help assist them in preparing their team for change, and ensuring that these changes are both understood, and accepted by staff.
Encouraging feedback from staff gives them a sense of control over these changes and will ease the anxiety that staff often experience with change. Involving staff in changes within business can also highlight the various strengths and weaknesses within these changes, and offer helpful insight on how to combat weaknesses, and leverage strengths.
Acknowledge Staff Feedback
While it’s important to encourage feedback from staff, it is even more important to acknowledge that feedback. Staff members are more than capable of recognising the difference between their input being taken seriously, or it being brushed off. Staff who feel that their input is not valued will often try to fight change out of fear that these changes will work against their best interests. Feedback from staff should be encouraged not only before change occurs, but during as well. Afterall it is in fact the staff that will get an up close and personal insight into the pros and cons of the changes that are taking place.
When a department or company is undergoing change, additional training is often required. This can include things such as learning a new system or software. Providing your staff with proper training is absolutely critical to any change within an organisation. In fact, poor or lack of training is often an underlying cause of staff members struggling to embrace change in the workplace. If you feel as if your staff is struggling to embrace change, it may be beneficial to seek guidance from change management consultants to help you best prepare your staff, as well as ease any apprehensions that they may have.