Adding to yesterday’s post, here are more best practices you can follow to ensure change is better received and executed across your organization.
Remain Flexible, and Keep an Open Mind
When planning your changes and prepping your organization for a change, it’s imperative that you remain flexible. Because your organization hasn’t endured what it’s about to endure before, it doesn’t yet have all the firsthand experience and information that it needs to do something new in the most efficient way. Don’t force things that won’t ultimately work for your employees simply because you want to follow a plan, and remember that it’s very common that things don’t go as originally planned. But if you keep an open mind and listen to feedback from your employees as you focus on the goal for change that you are following, you’ll be able to address any setbacks or issues that arise as you’re implementing a change.
Gain Early Buy-In from Everyone
Be fair to your employees and give them ample notice when a change is coming. Don’t just send out an e-mail one day outlining changes that have already been made and that need to be followed immediately—it won’t go over very well and won’t be effective. Instead, send employees screenshots of a new technology you’re going to implement as it’s being developed over the course of a few weeks or months to keep them in the loop, and solicit feedback from them regarding a new customer policy you want to implement. Doing things like this will ensure their early acceptance of a change before it’s even officially rolled out.
Establish Coaching Programs, and Create Accountability Partnerships
Pair employees with a coach who will help them navigate through important changes. Designate a person an employee can consult when he or she is struggling with a change or has a question about it, whether that person is a peer or a manager. This will allow people to go through changes together. Also, create accountability partnerships where employees are paired together, encouraging their partners to adopt whatever changes were made. This will endorse accountability and support around implemented changes.
Be Prepared to Send Out Reminders
It’s important to remain patient with your employees as you roll out a change. It will take time for them to get accustomed to the new way of doing things, and widescale change will not happen overnight. So, be prepared to send out reminder e-mails and notices of encouragement to keep everyone on track and committed to the changes being implemented. And offer support whenever it’s needed or when people have questions or concerns.
Lead by Example, and Remain Positive
Don’t expect your employees to implement a change if you or members of their management team aren’t. Be sure to practice what you preach, so to speak. And keep all employee communications about change positive and encouraging, and remind your employees about the purpose of the changes being made to keep them focused and diligent.
Overall, training your employees for change doesn’t have to be an arduous or painful experience, if you know the best practices listed above and in yesterday’s post.