Making significant changes in an organization is never easy, but most business leaders know that the biggest challenge is often managing how employees adapt to new processes, tasks, and expectations.
As their boss, it’s your responsibility to lead the change you’d like to see and to guide your workplace through times of extreme change and upheaval within the company. This is especially true in sectors like IT and engineering, where technological transformations need to be championed by leadership to be implemented successfully.
Explain What’s Changing
Whether it’s a significant change or a small one, you ought to be able to justify and explain every decision to your team.
Think of this as your opportunity to guide how they’re going to feel about the change, so make a point to highlight it in a positive way. Explain why the change is happening, why it’s essential, and what the positive change will be.
Listen to Feedback
Listen to what your employees have to say about the change and take their thoughts and input into consideration to implement the change to the best of your ability.
Making your employees feel empowered and included in the decision helps make them more accepting of the change overall, so be sure to check in regularly with your team to see how the change is affecting them, and if they have any thoughts or suggestions as to how the process can be improved.
Don’t Just Listen, Acknowledge
Collecting feedback is essential, but even more critical is acknowledging that feedback. In addition to gaining feedback at the start, middle, and end of the change process, regularly ask your team members “what do you think?” and then repeat what they say back to them.
This shows that you’re practicing active listening, and makes your employees feel heard. Additionally, if you’re able to implement a suggestion they make into your change process, let them know and thank them for their suggestion.
Define Clear Roles
Everyone with a role in driving the change must have a well-developed and clear understanding of who is accountable and responsible for what, and whom. Make sure to have clear rules as to who delegates if needed.
Once the roles are assigned, make sure to determine a schedule of regular check-ins and communication so you can make sure the process is going smoothly.
Train Your Team
Whether it’s a new system, new software, or new processes, change is always disruptive to regular business procures in one way or another, and your team needs to be well-trained not only to understand the changes, but also to know why, where, and how they need to be implemented.
Some team members will accept the change and actively work to implement it, while others will be slow to adopt it and might drag their heels.
To bring more team members on board, have a plan in place to reward those who make the time and effort to embrace change.