It could be said that the only time people are open to change is when what they have always done, no longer works for them. As a business owner, it is up to you show your staff that this applies to your business as well. When certain procedures and practices no longer meet the needs of the business, change is needed.
To facilitate this change, respect must be shown for both the needs of the business and employees. When the business needs for increased efficiency, profitability and productivity take priority over the needs of staff, there is an increased possibility of stress for individuals and real resistance to any proposed change. A balance must be achieved between the two.
Here are ten simple suggestions to help you bring about change, without sending your entire staff into a spin.
- Keep your staff informed. Explain the why and the how of your decision to change.
- Emphasise how the proposed change will benefit staff. By creating a sense of ownership in the process, staff more eagerly participate in, welcome and adapt to any changes made. Ownership and participation are essential.
- Get staff involved in the planning and the implementation of any change. Use as many staff suggestion as possible.
- Provide adequate training and practice in any new procedures.
- Establish a mentoring programme until a new comfort and confidence level is achieved by all staff.
- Never rush into change as this is likely to raise resistance. Get the pace right. Look upon it as a process involving information, discussion and patience.
- Avoid the bandwagon. Many times workplace change is initiated by a manager getting excited about some new programme or technology after attending a conference! Always research any new idea. Test drive it with a few willing volunteers and then make a decision as to whether this works for your business.
- Where staff show any resistance, demonstrate how the new way of doing things is going to make their lives less stressful and more enjoyable.
- Affirm, appreciate and praise your employees frequently, especially during the period of change implementation. Appreciation and praise are powerful human motivators.
- Foster a climate of humour in the workplace. People working in a climate of humour and enjoyment are more flexible and open to change.
If you would like to find out more about how to manage change in your business, do give us a call on 01736 339 384 or email HelloThere@sapiencehr.co.uk