We are in a critical moment in history. Everywhere you look change is happening. But the one place change is really happening is in the work place. Companies are cutting budgets, changing processes and eliminating employees in an effort to stay afloat during a declining economy.
I’ve worked in two very different fields, and it doesn’t matter what field you are in – change is never easy. So I’ve done some research to find tips on how to help your employees cope with change in the workplace.
The natural response to change is resistance.
The word change often breeds fear. The feeling of the unknown makes it hard for employees to focus on positive effects a change might bring, especially when a sacrifice is involved. As a manager, you need to be sensitive to these changes and think about what you’re asking of your employee. Work with the employee to resolve any of his/her concerns. Until your employee is willing to embrace the new change, it won’t be successful.
Allow employees to express anger or frustration in a safe forum.
It’s easy to get attached to a position and its responsibilities. If a position is changed or responsibilities taken away, it can create a sense of loss. Make sure to respect any habits and processes your employee had in his/her previous role. Allow the employee to bring these new habits to the new role – just make sure these habits are adjusted to work with the new position.
Change does not happen over night.
Transition time should be expected when employees are changing roles. As mentioned above, employees frequently fall back on old habits. As a manager, you need to help your employees stay focused on the future rather than focusing on the past.
Educate and train.
One of the most important aspects of change is education. Hold monthly staff meetings to discuss the practice’s mission. Set aside an hour a week to train your employee in their new role and set expectations.
Has your practice recently seen change? How have you helped your employees cope?