Throughout the change initiative, take the time to schedule meetings with employees to openly discuss the change process. Give employees time to ask any questions they need. You should also use this opportunity to be clear about what exactly is happening and, more importantly, why. You can lead by example by striving to fully understand changes in the workplace and then transparently communicate what you know.
For example, start by analyzing the reason for the change, provide a vision of the desired state, and then think of ways to get to that point together. This step-by-step change management strategy should help employees be more open to changes in the workplace because they participate in the process. Receiving feedback throughout the change process will hold everyone accountable and help maintain alignment. Navigating Change was developed by Cleveland Clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic to help improve the health and well-being of employees in times of uncertainty and change.
Link the change to previous positive changes to remind employees that they can succeed and help reduce anxiety. While leaders can manage change in many ways, some of the best change management strategies include planning, transparency, and honesty, communication, and employee engagement. Tania Fiero is the Director of Human Resources at Innovative Employee Solutions (IES), a global employer recognized in more than 150 countries that specializes in payroll services and contractor management for today's contingent workforce. There are many degrees and certificates available in related subjects; for example, a certificate on positive organizational development will largely focus on change management.
The degree of resistance of each employee will be determined by the seriousness with which they expect the change to affect them. Not only will you give your employees the opportunity to adapt to the change, but you'll also be able to answer questions and address any issues well in advance of the change going into effect. Create conditions that support initial successes and recognize the people who helped make the first steps toward change possible. As soon as you announce a change in your organization, employees' emotions will shift from fear to relief and even to excitement.
A strong leader can help your team weather the storms of change with confidence and lucidity, no matter how challenging they are. If you want more extensive training that will help you develop other high-level skills, in addition to change management, you may be interested in studying a master's degree in leadership or an MBA program focused on leadership. Once the individual roles have been defined, you can establish milestones and control calendars that help establish a communication rhythm for all members of the organization. Sometimes, a lack of understanding about the benefits of change causes employees to hesitate, so help them see the reasons for the change from an outside perspective.
If operations are changing due to COVID-19 or if your company is undergoing major transitions, such as a merger or acquisition, you're likely to encounter obstacles along the way, and some employees may feel more stress related to the change than others. Celebrating small achievements can help employees stay motivated and optimistic about the change process.