Organizational change can be a great thing, especially when it has big benefits for your company and your employees. Navigating the change can be bumpy, especially when your staff is happily set in their ways. Whether you’re adding new technology or updating your policies, you can make the process easier by getting your employees on board early and offering the support they need.
Communicate Early and Often
When it comes to workplace change, communication is your most powerful tool. After all, for your employees, the scariest changes are usually the kind that come with no warning. You can ease this stress by keeping your workers in the loop. Early on, let them know that things might need to change — and, more importantly, why. As things progress behind the scenes, give your workers regular updates so they feel included. This type of transparency goes a long way toward getting your staff to buy in to change. It makes them feel included, prevents rumours from spreading and helps your workers prepare themselves gradually.
Get Your Employees Involved
Imagine you’re an employee, and your boss announces a big procedure change that affects you directly — and you have no say in the matter. How would you feel? As an employer, you can avoid this situation by getting your workers involved. At a minimum, it’s a good idea to ask for their input as you decide how to proceed. For the biggest benefits, involve your staff in the process. If you want to change from a paper-based system to a digital system, you might ask employees to research cloud-based options and pick their three favourites. This strategy lightens your load and shows that you value your employees’ opinions. It also gives you access to their insight and expertise, which makes it easier to find a solution that’s best for your company.
Offer Plenty of Training
When you make a change in your company, it often brings unfamiliar tools and situations. It’s normal for your employees to be nervous about these unknowns — but that fear doesn’t need to last for long. The secret? Training. Classes and workshops can help your workers learn a new technology or procedure from the ground up. The key is to customize the training to each of your employees, especially when it comes to technology. Your millennial workers, who grew up surrounded by computers and cell phones, can probably get up to speed quickly on a new tool. Your older employees might need more basic training. By supporting your workers according to their needs, you can help them feel confident and secure.
Give it Time
Change takes time, especially when your team is simultaneously keeping your customers happy. Although you might want to make the shift right away, your employees might need time to settle in. A little bit of patience takes the pressure off and lets your staff adjust at their own pace — within reason, of course. You can also reduce your own stress levels by expecting hiccups and resistance. It’s also a good idea to allow plenty of lead time and plan the change for one of your company’s slower seasons.
Change in your company is rarely easy, but a little bit of extra effort can go a long way toward getting your employees on board. With buy-in from your team, it’s easier to forge ahead and build a stronger, more efficient business.