Change management is the term we use to describe all the various approaches to prepare and support individual employees and teams to make any sort of organizational change. Implementing change within an organization can be really difficult. But, there are things you can do as a leader to make change easier and to reduce any negative pushback from employees.
Introduce ideas early and be specific
Communicating that change is coming, and communicating that early gives people time to get used to the idea. You don’t want your team to feel left in the dark about changes occurring. You want to be sure you answer the following questions
- Who will this change affect?
- Who is responsible for the change and carrying it out?
- When will this change take effect?
- Is the change happening in increments or is it one big initiative?
You want to try to be as specific as possible, and ensure people are comfortable with asking questions about the change to come.
Involve your end users
Including your end users when it comes to change management comes with so many benefits. If you’re going to take any suggestions away from this blog it should be this one. Before you even make your final decisions on what kind of change is going to be implemented you should be talking to the people the change would directly affect. The people who live the day to day have a perspective that sometimes decision makers just don’t have. Your end users will undoubtedly have useful feedback.
Including end-users in the decision making process can result in more enthusiastic change makers as well. The more people you have on board with the change, the better off you will be.
If you’re putting forth change, there is a good reason for it. Communicate that reasoning-- especially to the people it directly affects. Accepting and adapting to change is much easier when you can cite the benefits and advantages it will bring. Cover your bases.
- Why is this change important, and why now?
- What benefits will this change bring overall?
- What problems is this change going to solve?
Diversify your delivery
People learn and process information differently. Presenting information in one way is not going to reach everyone that it needs to. You need to ensure you are meeting people where they are and communicating with them via the channels they best respond to. Some common ways to communicate and spread the message are:
- A meeting and presentation
- Newsletters or email memos
- Videos and blogs
- Internal forums such as an Intranet or Slack channel
Be prepared for pushback
You could be introducing a change that is overwhelmingly accepted but, regardless, there will be people who resist change and offer up objections for the change. You should be prepared to respond. Brainstorm the objections you think you may encounter and have prepared responses. Combatting any push back you do receive should also include the above steps.
Live the change
As a leader you are setting an example and your team looks to you, especially in times of uncertainty or unfamiliarity. If you are not acting as champion of the change your team will take notice. You must show that you truly believe in and are committed to the change you are asking your team to undertake.
Change is never going to be easy, but if you take the above steps into consideration you can make it much less painful for yourself, and everyone involved. These steps can even be used when adding Freightview into your arsenal of tools.