Every business undergoes a number of changes over time. Be it change in technology, office policies, team leadership, production procedures or anything else, change is inevitable. However, as much it is important to embrace changes to remain competitive, the process is often hard on the employees. Helping employees adapt to changes is one of the most crucial task that the management must accomplish with utmost care or it may bring downfall of the business. Employees are mostly too accustomed working a particular way or with a particular technology and even a minor change can fill them anxiety. That’s why many employees are resistant to changes and many are unable to handle them well. As a leader, you need to find out the right ways to help your employees adapt to change. Because, only a fully functional team that understands the policies and procedures well is capable of bringing positive results and growth to the business. Here are a few techniques to help your employees adapt to changes:
- Communicate Clearly
Be it a minor or major change communicate them clearly to your employees. Explain to your employees why it is important for your organization and what positive changes it can bring. All your managers must be on the same page before you communicate the change to the rest of the employees. This also helps prepare the managers answer the concerns and queries of employees.
2. Use Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is one of the most important tools in this scenario. Change scares many employees and thus it’s important to know about their mental state and show compassion. Team leaders should be transparent and capable of explaining things clearly. Every employee is different and using emotional intelligence leaders should try to help employees overcome their fears and doubts.
3. Clarify Roles and Responsibilities
Changes in the organization often create confusion about the roles and responsibilities. Every employee must be informed about his or her accountability and responsibility in the organization. Every employee needs to own particular aspects of the change and leaders need to help them do that. Once you assign the roles, set objectives and monitor if things are moving as desired.
4. Train Your Employees
In most of the cases, training is must to help employees adapt to change. Whether it’s about using a new software or change in the customer service method, employees must be well trained not only to adapt the new procedure but also to become more effective in it. Leaders need to work on the budget and time for employee training so that it doesn’t hinder the ongoing processes but helps employees become efficient with the innovation.
5. Invite Feedback
Feedback from employees helps in making the transition smooth. Know what employees want and what their concerns are. In fact, feedback is important in the beginning, middle and also at the end of implementation of change. You don’t always need a formal process. Feedback can also be obtained through a casual conversation. Also, anonymous surveys should be conducted once in a while so that the employees can become more comfortable in voicing their opinions. Also, the job of the leaders doesn’t end with collecting feedbacks; they must also act upon them to improve things.
6. Appreciate Change Acceptance
Some employees truly understand the value of change and put sincere efforts in adapting to the change. Appreciate those efforts and reward them to keep your employees motivated. Also, being a leader you should understand the psychology of every member of your team and know what motivates them. Communicate your vision and expectations and celebrate the achievement of milestones to encourage your employees do better.
Unless your employees do not get along with the change, the latter won’t bring your organization positive results no matter how important the change is. Therefore, in addition to implementing innovative changes, leaders must also apply effective strategies to help employees adapt to change.