The rate of change within the entire business landscape has increased significantly over the last decade. Change within a business needs to be managed effectively, and the skill of the Manager to facilitate constant change, can really make or break the success of change.
In addition to a specially trained Change Consultant to facilitate the change-process, it is crucial that the Manager(s) in the organisation are supportive, equipped and enabled to support the different phases in the change-process.
Change is almost always an emotional experience – this needs to be recognised and understood. Here are 5 measures that Managers can implement to make the adjustment smoother for the employees.
Engage employees from initiation:
Leadership plays a key role in this phase, as the Manager needs to be transparent and supportive of the change from the initiation phase. A good Manager will be able to identify who is struggling to adapt, from the initiation phase, and can direct more focus to these employees. Involving the employees from the beginning, in the designing and evaluating stages, will allow for a faster implementation of the change, as they will be familiarised with the new process and will have possibly made their own contributions.
With the right resources and opportunities available, it’s important that the Manager provides opportunities for the employees to learn the new skills needed for the change being initiated. Training and experience will help the employees to feel more prepared to cope with the change and will smooth the transition process into the new assigned roles. After initial training, it may be necessary to implement refresher training. It can also be helpful to provide your employees with additional self-help manuals; however, this will depend on the type of change.
Observe and Listen:
If not monitored and established correctly, change can unsettle employees and negatively impact the workspace. It’s important for the Manager to observe the employees before the change has even been implemented, so that he/she can recognise any changes in their employees’ behaviour going forward. Each employee may handle the change differently – while some may come directly to the Manager, others may display anxiety through their behaviour or performance. The Manger needs to be observant of each individual employee, as change ultimately effects everyone differently, and each employee will need to be dealt with accordingly.
Receiving feedback does not need to be formal, it can simply mean a casual conversation between the Manager and employees. However, after observing and listening to the feedback of the employees, it is essential that the Manager takes tangible steps so that the employees feel that their feedback and opinions are acknowledged. First the feedback should be reflected on, then discussed with the employees, and finally some sort of action should be taken.
Putting a reward system in place that rewards employees who take the time and make the effort to embrace the change, could give the employees incentive to work proactively with the change. These proactive employees could also inspire the other employees to get involved with the change and adopt a positive attitude. KPI’s could also work effectively in this instance.