HR Management & Compliance

Best Practices: Training Your Employees to Accept/Manage Change (Part 1)

Employees get accustomed to certain platforms, policies, procedures, and workflows over time, even if they weren’t always a fan of how everything gets done inside your organization. Humans are still innately creatures of habit and tend to collectively abhor change.
But they can’t avoid it.
If your company was recently acquired by or merged with another company or is deciding to do something like execute an entirely new customer service policy or implement a completely different technology platform, you should expect your employees to push back and want to reject such changes—especially if the changes come fast and are unexpected.
Luckily, there are a few best practices you can follow to ensure change is better received and executed across your organization.

Be Clear on the Issues and Reason for Change

Before upsetting everyone across your organization or wasting a lot of money, be sure you are crystal clear about the changes you’re making and why you’re making them. For instance, gather data and solid information to prove why you need that new technology platform and understand fully how implementing such a change will help your organization reach its objectives. Don’t execute any sort of change across your organization without first understanding why it’s completely necessary and beneficial for your organization.

Be Empathetic and Listen

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When implementing a large-scale change, empathize with your employees’ concerns so that you can help them work through the challenges that such a change will bring to them and their everyday work situations. Continually listen to their concerns and address them as soon as possible so that you can secure their commitment to working through and embracing necessary changes. Don’t simply bark demands, or you’ll start to notice a lot of your employees tuning out and resorting to the old ways of doing things that they’re comfortable with already. Instead, help employees find ways to navigate through changes in ways that make sense to them.

Include Your Employees in the Process of Change, and Encourage Collaboration

If you truly want your employees to be invested in executing the change your organization needs to make, allow them to be involved in the process of designing the change itself. This way, the change won’t be a great shock to them, and they’ll be directly invested in its execution. Ask employees for their insight and input, and allow them to help you and one another understand potential problems that such a change can bring to the forefront while focusing on discovering solutions to such problems. Employees who have input in the change process are much more likely to be committed to executing changes long term and might even enjoy them.

Define Clear Roles and Responsibilities

While you’ll want your employees’ feedback and input in implementing changes, you’ll still want to make it clear who is responsible for overseeing any changes and who should be monitoring the progress of such changes. Otherwise, there will be no clear guidance or direction for the changes that need to be made, and people will get frustrated and confused.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, which will include additional best practices for ensuring change is better received and executed across your organization.