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How to Prepare Your Team for Change

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Alex Bigland team, change, Blog...

Change in business is inevitable and unavoidable. It can come slowly – a pre-meditated march towards more efficient output. Or it can come suddenly – a mad scramble to stabilise in the wake of a financial crash.

Often times, both scenarios see leaders so focused on processes and procedures that they neglect the most important part of the puzzle: People.

Consider this statistic: 87% of employees believe there is not enough focus on how to effectively change (McKinsey 2015). What this demonstrates is that a large number of employees don’t agree with the way change is being carried out and don’t feel that they are part of the change management discourse.

This kind of dissociation can breed negativity and resentment – sentiments capable of unhinging any change effort. Look after your people. They are the key to change being successful or not. Manage them first and foremost.

Here are some ways you can prepare your team for change:

  1. Encourage critical and strategic thinking

If your employees have been trained to look out for potential change triggers and anticipate the ripple effect of wide scale transformation, chances are they will be less shocked when you come to them with a plan for change. In fact, they most likely will have seen it coming.

  1. Involve all employees at the outset of change

You don’t need to share every microscopic detail of the plan all at once, but you do need to give everyone fair warning of what is in store. People can be creatures of habit and require time to process what is happening. At this early stage, give the most information to the employees who will be most affected by the change.

  1. Communicate

Communication is more than simply relaying your message. It is about listening to any concerns your employees may have and dealing with any resistance tactfully. Explain the ‘why’ behind your change management strategy. If employees are clear on why the change is happening, they are far more likely to become emotionally involved and support the process.

  1. Resolve any issues you can

If you can iron out any problems that your employees have raised, then do. It’s important that every member of your team feels supported and listened to.

  1. Train them well

Whether you’re introducing a new technology or a new methodology, make sure your team have been thoroughly trained and feel confident with the new way of working.

Change management is always changing – stay ahead of the curve with Venquis.Our job board is updated regularly with exciting and new opportunities for business transformation experts.