In today’s business environment, change is almost inevitable. That doesn’t necessarily make it easy, nor does it mean your team members will always embrace it.
The key is managing change effectively inside your business. When change management is implemented the right way, you’ll find you get more buy-in and the process is smoother for your team.
You can use these five tips to manage change the right way for your business.
1. Follow a Change Management Process
The first step to take is outline the process for change in your business. When there’s a clear process to be followed, it’s easier to get people onboard with the changes. They’ll know what to expect next and how long it will be before they see the changes.
Change can be rapid or it can take quite some time. It depends a bit on what you’re planning to roll out. Implementing new software may be a stepped process that takes months. Rolling out a new benefits package, on the other hand, may only take a few weeks.
The process helps you outline the stages you’ll need to move through, and it keeps you and your team on track.
2. Address Individual Concerns
Many change management tips emphasize the need to get buy-in from your executives or your management teams. These people are still important to the process. Without their support, other employees may try to undermine the change management process.
Even when you have executive and management support, there may be team members who are unsupportive of changes. They may be concerned about how changes will impact their jobs, or they may not see the advantages of changes.
Addressing these individual concerns will help you reassure these team members. Help them see how the change can help them.
3. Be Honest about Changes
If you’re implementing a change that will impact members of your team negatively, your best bet is to be upfront and honest. Trying to package a negative thing as a positive will only upset team members.
This is especially important in the current business environment. Businesses are making tough decisions to keep their workers safe. If you decide to close up shop for two weeks, it’s only natural that your employees will worry about their income. Will their job still be available when you open again?
Being honest about the impact of changes will help you sympathize with employees and their concerns. Being supportive of them doesn’t change the impact, but it can help them feel you did everything you could.
4. Provide Effective Training
As you roll out changes, it’s important to help your team adjust to them the right way. That might mean helping them learn a new program or enrolling them in a safety training workshop.
Effective training usually isn’t a one-and-done session either. This is particularly important for new skills and equipment. It can take time to learn the skills and perfect them, so offering more sessions can help employees hone their skills and deepen their knowledge.
Don’t forget about supports for the team after training sessions wrap up. Refresher courses, troubleshooting support, and reference documents can help the team as they put their new knowledge into practice.
5. Celebrate the Wins
Change can be a difficult process to manage. Even when people are fully onboard, they may experience setbacks or frustrations. There may be delays, or people may re-evaluate the solution as it rolls out and wonder if it really does what you said it would.
This can create a negative impression of change and create resistance to change. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate wins along the way. By celebrating success, you can acknowledge that there are difficulties in the process, but highlighting success keeps everyone focused and motivated to make change work.
With these tips in hand, you’ll be ready for more effective change management for your business.