How Organizations Can Cope with Change

How Organizations Can Cope with Change

The only constant in life is change, and here is how you make sure your organization is ready for it.

It is almost inevitable that you will experience some changes in the workplace during your career. Be it through digitalization or employee restructuring—businesses need to keep themselves ahead of the curve by quickly adapting to change. 

Businesses, particularly startups, have to equip themselves with the agility to understand the changing needs of their customers. However, as a business owner, you will often find yourself having to deal with major opposition to change from your employees. In fact, according to a 2016 study by the accounting organization KPMG, 70% of all change efforts fail, and the biggest reason behind that figure is employee resistance. 

Worried about how your employees will react to the changes you wish to implement? Here are some steps you can follow to make the process of change easier for both you and your employees. 

Create a plan before instating change

Before you make any sort of changes to your company, you must first identify what problems there are and think about how the proposed change solves them. You also need to define the scope of the change and plan out the main steps to execute the change. This will create clear goals for your team to accomplish long-term. 

Explain why change is necessary 

To implement any change, you would first have to convince your employees. If you are not clear on why the change is necessary, then the momentum to actually carry out the change will die down. Explain to them what is happening; how it will affect all the stakeholders involved; and why this change needs to happen right away to ensure compliance. 

Depending on the issues identified, you can make this happen by showing employees bad reviews from customers on certain products or explaining how adopting certain technology will reduce the expenditure incurred by the company. 

Reward early acceptance

If your goals aren’t convincing enough on the need for change, you can offer your employees rewards for being the first to adapt to the change. Some employees will be more open to new ways of working than others. By rewarding such employees, you encourage others to join in. 

Moreover, you can ask the early adopters for feedback on any concerns and issues they come across with the new changes. This, combined with assessments, such as self-evaluation tests, can help you find out how much training is required to get everyone ready for the change. You can also ask them for tips on streamlining the transition for their coworkers. 

Provide training 

Based on what you learn from the previous step, you can plan out hands-on training programs for your employees. Proper training can help make the transition into different work cultures and roles easier for them. While this might require some time, resources and money from the company, it will ensure that the changes made are effectively implemented. 

Create short-term wins 

Sometimes the changes you implement can take a long time to show results, which can be discouraging for employees. To maintain the enthusiasm surrounding the changes, you need to create conditions where you see some visible accomplishments. This includes breaking the goals to smaller milestones that you need to accomplish by a time point. For instance, cutting down production time by a certain percentage each quarter using the new production method. You can make these milestones seem like wins by celebrating them with rewards for employees. You can also link the changes you made to some previous, successful changes to encourage employees to keep up their efforts. 

Collect and act on feedback

Business leaders must understand that to achieve the company’s goals, employees have to be motivated to perform at their best. This would only happen in a workplace where employees feel heard and respected. So, after making any big change, you must take time to actively communicate with your employees and hear out their concerns. 

Their feedback at different implementation stages can help you make the necessary adjustments to your plans and avoid spending precious resources on aspects that aren’t working. It is also important to make sure that your employees don’t feel overwhelmed by the changes taking place. This can be achieved by providing them with stability so that they have something to grasp in times of confusion. For instance, the overall objectives of the organization or the management should persist despite the changes. 

Ultimately, change is a scary thing; but if done right, it can be a boon to your business. Following the steps we’ve shared above can help you reduce employee resistance and seamlessly execute much-needed changes to your company. 

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Header image courtesy of Pixabay 

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