Change can be a very hard thing to accept, especially if you're set in your ways. Change in the workplace can be more difficult because you have a lot of different personalities trying to make the best out of the situation. Today, we're going to give you a few ways management can teach staff how to cope with change.
It's one thing trying to cope with change when you decide to do something for yourself. It's much harder, though, to change as the result of another person's decision - like when a new initiative or way of doing things is brought into the workplace.
From a management perspective, the more you're aware of this, the better.
Employees won't always be as excited about change as you are. They may be set in their ways or not even recognize the need for change in the first place. As such, it's not just your job to come up with/implement something new, but to help your team(s) learn how to cope with change.
Not sure how to do this? Use the ten tips below to help you help your people.
1. Be Positive and Encourage an Open Mindset
The best way to welcome change is with a smile. It might sound corny, but it's true. If you're not happy about the new processes in place, how can you expect your staff to be?
Creating the right attitude in the office starts from the top down. You have to be positive about what's coming and keep an open mind as the change starts to happen. This encourages everyone else to look at the change in a good light, and it can also help create collaboration.
2. Listen to All the Voices Involved
Speaking of collaboration, keep in mind that while you may be higher up in the chain of command than some, you're not the only person responsible for creating change. Change is an all or nothing type of thing. Everyone has to be bought in for it to work.
This means you have to remind those affected by the new rules/processes that they have a voice. It means you have to listen - not just hear - their concerns and find ways to work with them.
3. Know When to Mediate and When to Stand Back
Sometimes, the best way to help a team cope with change is to stand back. When you get out of the way, other people learn to step up.
Before you know it, the various voices of the department will be working together to create a positive, effective change. This is much better than having them fight you about the change you're trying to implement.
Let go, but don't be completely hands-off. Step in when you need to, like if certain differences get out of hand or if you notice no change is happening. Balance this leadership with giving your team autonomy and watch how effective your new initiatives become.
4. Empower Your Employees During the Change Process
Keep in mind that stepping back isn't enough to really empower your people. You have to give them the tools to succeed, too. Train them and talk to them at every part of the change process.
This makes them feel like they truly have a handle on the situation, and they should. It sets them up to overcome the things they're uncomfortable about rather than feeling bogged down. Plus, it helps you and your team work together which boosts the culture of the company overall and helps make change easier to take on in the future.
5. Focus on the Why
Whether you're implementing one big change now or you have a few small changes coming through the pipeline, always focus on the why. This does wonders for you and your people.
Focusing on the why gives you a clear sense of direction. It helps you stay on course and make the change process as simple and clear as can be.
From the perspective of your staff, the why helps them realize the need for change. It breaks down some of the barriers people have against change and helps them see this challenge in a more positive light.
6. Set Clear Standards for Everyone to Follow
As powerful as the why is, it's not enough to see change through. You also have to set clear expectations for everyone in your chain of command. This helps them understand the change in action not just in theory.
It pushes them in the right direction. Setting expectations is like giving everyone rules in a much less authoritative manner. Your team will feel like you're giving them guidance rather than telling them what to do.
7. Reward Those Who Take on Change Well
Another thing to consider is that not everyone in the office is going to fight change. Some people on your staff are bound to be comfortable with change already. Reward them.
They are the leaders in the change process, even if they've only been hired recently. Remember, leadership isn't just about titles and positions - it's about doing the right thing and giving a good example to others. Anyone in your office can do that, and when they do so on their own, it deserves recognition.
8. Keep Everyone's Best Interest in Mind
The next tip for introducing and accepting change in the workplace is to keep everyone's best interest in mind. This goes back to the why for creating change in the first place.
Focus on what you want the change to accomplish. Think about how each person will be affected and find ways to make their experience as positive and effective as possible. Note, this may not be the same thing across the board; one idea for change may easily turn into different processes for a handful of individuals.
9. Ask for Feedback
Change doesn't happen overnight. It takes time if you want to get it just right and it also requires everyone to be on board. As more and more people buy into what's going on, they're going to start sharing ideas.
Listen to them. Feedback should be welcomed and encouraged during the change process. It's how good ideas become great and how one change now can be all you need to keep the company running well long-term.
10. Don't Try to Fix Everything
The final thing to consider is that you can't please everyone. The changes you put in place will still have a bit of resistance or pushback, even if only at the beginning.
That's okay. In fact, it's healthy. Having opposing views from time to time can encourage innovation. While you don't want to create barriers between yourself and your team or among different departments, a bit of tension might be good.
Be mindful of whether this "problem" is worth addressing or letting it work itself out. You may be surprised that a little less change from the top down creates the best culture your team has yet to see.
How to Cope with Change: Bring in Some More Professionals
Are you about to roll out a rebranding strategy? Do you want to find ways to make everyone on your team more productive? No matter the kind of change you're creating, keep the tips above in mind to help everyone along.
Focus on how to cope with change as a whole team, not just on implementing change as a manager. This shifts your perspective from doing something within your role to doing something for the good of the entire business, which is what everything should be about.
Also, don't be afraid to bring in business professionals if you need assistance during the change process.
Contact us today to see how we can help you!