In any organization, there is one thing that is guaranteed, there will be change. There will be those who don’t want change. Most people are resistant to change because like staying in their comfort zone. You are familiar with the sayings, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” and there is the famous, “We’ve always done it like this…” They are comfortable with the tried and true, and avoid anything new.
If an organization wants to stay current, relevant, then change is inevitable. It is crucial for organizations to be able to adapt and grow. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t know how to prepare their employees for change or how to handle change initiatives. When change management is handled poorly, it leads to decreased employee morale, and a mistrust of management.
3 Critical Steps To Change Management:
- Prepare for change. Identify the change that will happen and understand the impact it will have on the employees. It is critical to have management supporting the initiative. It helps to communicate the new reality to the employees so they will be ready and understand how things will be different when the change has been implemented.
- Manage the change. It is important to communicate early and often. Understand how the change will affect the employees and involve them in the change management process for buy in. They will become your supporters and advocate for the change. Listen to those who are resistant to change. Don’t bargain or try to convince them, but listen to them and ask questions to understand their perspective. If they have this opinion, then others will too. This gives you an opportunity to identify any barriers to the success of the change which will increase the odds of making the change work.
- Reinforce change. Use positive reinforcement to reward desired behavior. Encourage the change so that the old method is discouraged and reward to increase the desirable behavior and results. Establish metrics and reward teams who meet the metrics and hold employees accountable. Don’t forget to get feedback from surveys or meetings. Once issues are identified, address and fix the problems. Be patient as employees are navigating the learning curve and continue to address those resistant to change.
Managing an organization through change can be challenging, but following these steps and having strong leadership will make this process easier.