Change is a near-constant.
The days of being set in your ways—as an employee and a manager—are over.
Takeovers, downsizing and reorganizing can turn a company upside down overnight, and those who remain must embrace change to survive. More than ever, managers must provide a steady hand, even when those around them are shaking with uncertainty.
Change can be difficult, but organizations must evolve. Every manager and leader should understand that they must incorporate a change management process into their overall strategy.
Here are three tips for helping staffers cope with change:
1. Clear communication. Don’t let employees twist in the wind. Gaps in communication from managers to the staff can add anxiety and disrupt production. As much as possible, give them the “why.” Every manager should inform their team of the change process and mentally prepare them for it. Offer the positives, and explain that the change won’t hurt them. Let them know they’re secure and that the change is good not only for the company but also for them. A manager will be appreciated for being up front and upbeat, which can foster trust and a smoother transition.
2. Tools for the transition. After giving them the big picture, break down the particulars. Provide details of what will lead to successful change individually and collectively. This can include implementing training and one-on-one or group discussion sessions. Change brings insecurity and anxiety; employees want to know what’s next.
3. Personalize it—positively. Even more relevant to each employee, create a personalized plan for them, setting expectations and goals and putting new motivation in motion. With this blueprint the manager can watch progress step by step, and it can help them grow into leaders. Personalizing the transition will show employees they are valued and that they can evolve with the company. They’re moving from their comfort zone to uncharted waters. Help them move ahead and succeed through their respective next steps.