Regardless of the size of an organisation, change remains a common and inevitable part of successful operations. Change comes in many forms and may be caused by different activities such as leadership shake-ups, mergers, or policy updates. Navigating the waters of change is a complex and delicate affair that requires meticulous planning and execution. Change affects the career prospects of employees directly, and its implementation requires their support. If wrongly conducted, change can cause chaos and fear within an organisation and leave employees feeling uninspired and demotivated. Therefore, it is essential to prepare employees for imminent change by doing the following:
Ensure candid and regular communication
Employees must always be kept in the loop about the progress of every activity during the change. Consistency, articulation, and clarity are vital during communication to relieve the anxiety that is usually associated with the impending change.
Explain what is in store for them
Employees must be given a bigger picture of what the change means for them. Ensure that you communicate the positive impacts that the change will bring them at individual levels. Even for the adversely affected group, it is important to personalise the message as a demonstration of support and respect to avoid resentfulness.
Solicit and acknowledge feedback
Getting feedback from employees is fundamental since it gives you a chance to address misinformation and know their expectations. It is crucial for gaining the buy-in of your staff which is needed for smooth transition and alignment.
Empower and equip management levels
The success of transition during change heavily relies on adaptability and leadership. Therefore, it is important to empower departmental heads who will, in turn, take the rest through the requirements of the change. Engaging smaller groups makes the process smoother, more intimate, and comfortable.
Apply emotional intelligence
Change can sometimes be scary for employees. Leaders should ensure they strike the right balance of authority, responsibility, humility, and compassion. Anticipate and prepare for different curveballs but demonstrate discipline and transparency throughout the process for positive results.
Generally, a successful change in an organisation requires inspiring, empowering, engaging, and informing employees. While explaining the benefits of a change, never gloss over the challenges but rather remain transparent and equip employees with strategies of coping. Ensure that roles are clearly defined and offer training if necessary. Change can be stressful for employees, hence the need to support them during the transition and reward their efforts, acceptance, and cooperation in the end.