Change can be frustrating or even scary to employees. But if you don’t prepare them for changes, such as new hires, or new policies and procedures, you risk resentment, confusion, and a decrease in morale and productivity. Depending on the change, it may take your employees a little time to get used to it. But you can take steps to help ease them through just about any transition, helping them to accept or even support it. Here’s how.
Five ways to help your employees embrace change
In today’s business world, change is an inevitable part of being employed. Workers know that the rules and cast of characters will frequently change—but this doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be comfortable with any changes that come their way. You can help your employees handle change as well as possible with the following five techniques:
- Explain why it’s happening. One key to employee acceptance of change is to understand the reason behind it. You’ll need to hold a meeting before (but if that’s not possible right after) the change occurs. It’s possible that management will want to insulate employees from the reasons behind certain actions (such as employee layoffs), but it’s good to give your staff the best, most complete explanation you can.
- Keep an open door, and an open ear. Your staff will no doubt have questions, so be prepared with answers—even if you start to feel like a broken record. Stay accessible to employees during the transition so you’re available if they need help or support, especially with a new procedure.
- Be the change you want to see. If you fully embrace the change that’s occurred, your employees will be more likely to jump on board. Even if you don’t agree with it, be sure not to undermine those who made the final decision by criticizing it.
- Put a positive spin on the situation. How can this change help your staff? Explain all the positives to them so they can see that despite a temporary period of transition, this change is for the best.
- Form a change committee. For backup during the transition (depending on the nature of the change), you can appoint a small committee of employees that can provide more information and answers, and help coach their co-workers through the change. Anticipate potential obstacles to success and task the committee with helping you conquer them.
Good communication is key
More than ever, your employees don’t want to feel left in the dark. By maintaining open lines of communication, you can gain their acceptance and implement your changes with flying colors.
In need of supplemental staff?
Sometimes change leaves you with the need to staff up or bring temporary employees into your staffing mix. Whatever the case, McGrath Systems can help. We’ll work with you to understand your staffing needs and fill any gaps with highly qualified IT, human resources, light industrial or engineering staff. To learn more, contact us today.