Change is a constant in life. Both personally and professionally. Be it a software implementation or an organizational shift, change could result in a massive workplace upheaval to your employees. What should you take into account when preparing your employees for change? Here are some tips to help you ease the transition for your team.
1) Place Emphasis on an Empowering Company Culture
Employees who are confident and empowered are less likely to fear change. Change management experts agree empowerment goes hand in hand with appreciation and fair treatment, both of which are the foundation for a positive change culture. And the best way to show fairness is through open communication and employee involvement. More on that later!
2) Ensure Diversity
Generational diversity is a proven advantage to technology adoption. This is particularly important given that older employees are more hesitant to embrace technology shifts. Studies show that integrating employees under 30 years of age has positively affected adoption rates for new innovations. So be open to recruiting millennials!
3) Get Everyone Involved
As mentioned, a successful company culture depends on the full involvement of all players. And not just in the final sprint, but from the onset. A management style that values everyone’s involvement and contribution has a decided impact on employee satisfaction. Your team is more likely to back change that it is directly involved in shaping. So listen to your employees’ ideas and feedback and use this information to steer company change!
4) Embrace Open Communication
Keyword: transparency! Be clear about what is changing by using examples and highlighting positive advantages. Give your employees the opportunity to discuss questions and doubts. Laying everything on the table helps employees recognize the path your company and their future is on. And this will instill in them the confidence and security to embrace the changes.
5) Pay Attention to Different Personalities
No two people are the same. Although the Change Curve (graph below) does an excellent job of highlighting responses to change, you should remember that every individual responds uniquely. Some employees may linger longer in denial or frustration. Some might fast-forward to acceptance and integration. A successful change manager observes employee reactions to change and helps soothe the transition to each new phase. Even if you don’t have a change manager, company awareness for change behavior and response can help ease the transition.
6) Provide Security
Having a clear game plan is a sure way to give your employees a sense of security. Have a mentoring system and training opportunities in place before change is initiated. Create clear guidelines for feedback processes so that your employees feel their concerns and insight are wanted and valued. As mentioned before, knowing where the company is headed and how they can get ready for big changes are a huge reassurance for your employees.
7) Create a Realistic Timeframe
Don’t rush a good thing! Successful change requires adequate preparation, and that means ample time to strategize and plan. Be ready and willing to have incremental phases when implementing big change if necessary. It is far easier to take baby steps than huge leaps. If your employees need more time to process change, then give it to them. This will be to everyone’s advantage!
Our next blog will deal directly with the concrete steps you can take when implementing new software. Stay tuned!