Of course, change is inevitable and necessary for every organisation. Say, for instance, that you’re concerned about the amount of money a specific piece software is costing your business. Although it is well-loved and your team members know it inside out, it probably makes good business sense to move on to something cheaper and more up-to-date.
Securing alignment between your team and your new product, however, may not be easy. Whilst some may be happy to learn how to use the new technology, one or two team members may rebel. To help you deal with this situation and ensure that all team members are on board with new technologies or processes, we’ve put together a few tips for managers attempting to implement change:
1. Subtly introduce changes into the everyday working environment
Gradually conditioning employees to anticipate change will help to prepare them for any major future organisational shifts. This could mean anything from swapping seating allocations frequently or allowing different people to present at conferences.
As well as implementing these team changes, you should try to get employees involved with the process. This could involve setting up brainstorming meetings or conducting regular surveys to make sure the workforce is involved in making decisions about upcoming changes. This will allow them to feel that they are part of the changes rather than simply having to passively accept them.
2. Communicate changes well in advance
Strong communication is absolutely vital if you want to nurture a happy workforce. Failing to communicate changes or communicating them poorly could make employees reluctant to comply with new processes. To ensure that changes are crystal clear you should:
– Spell out the reasons for the changes, as well as how employees will be affected. Remember to provide concrete evidence when doing this.
– Let your team know precisely when the changes will occur and what they will need to do (if anything).
– Enlist willing team members to spread positive communications about the upcoming changes.
– Offer support services related to changes implementation.
– Send communications out via a number of channels including email and your staff intranet.
3. Encourage employees to ask questions
One of the biggest obstacles businesses face when implementing change is the spread of misinformation and hearsay. To combat this, encourage employees to speak up about any questions or worries they may have about new processes or software. This should help keep the record straight.
4. Host small group meetings about changes
Try not to break the news about changes to large groups as this may hinder productive discussions. Instead, gather small teams together to encourage open and healthy conversations.
5. Measure how well new processes are being integrated
When implementing changes, try to measure their impact on your team. This will help you and your colleagues understand whether there are any ways in which your implementation plan could be improved. Start by distributing feedback surveys and setting up regular update meetings to let colleagues know about how well the new changes are going.
Addressing resistance to change is fairly simple once you know how. It doesn’t involve any cheap tricks and requires you only to be honest, open and communicative.