While many of us have difficulty with change, as a leader in a company, you must help your employees deal with change by your example. Consciously or not, they will follow what you do, and your acceptance of such matters will determine whether they accept that change willingly or grudgingly.
- Keep the channels of communication open. One of the biggest concerns employees have when it comes to change involves a lack of knowledge. At any organization, when the hint of changes to come begin floating around the building, it leads to worry, rumors, potential misinformation and frustration at being fed updates a piece at a time. If and when changes arise, keep employees informed regularly. This will also help foster solid relationships: A leader who keeps their employees in the loop about what’s to come shows a level of trust they will receive in return, as well as employees ready and far more willing to embrace the changes.
- Remember who gets affected by change. Major reshapes will touch the daily lives of those at every level, and often those on the front lines will feel those effects most significantly. So, bear them in mind as you make your changes, soliciting their input as you go. Have you ever seen the show Undercover Boss? Often the person making major adjustments to the workforce doesn’t know what works and what doesn’t until they get input from those at the mid-level. As a leader, you need to recognize how much change will affect all your employees, and to what extent.
- Seek out the unofficial leaders. At every level within the company, someone emerges as a sort of informal leader whom others follow or go to for advice. You have the Motivators (those who keep others upbeat and make them take pride in their work), the Keepers of Culture (those who have been at the company for a while and really know what’s going on when it comes to the inner workings) and the Change Champions (those who understand why change is important and help others feel positively about it as well). Walk around the office and have conversations with employees to figure out who these people are, then solicit their help in making transitions.
As a leader, your decisions on how to include your employees in change will demonstrate the kind of leader you are. Do you make change from on high, deciding what’s best without consulting those whom it will affect most, or do you get to know your employees well enough to involve them in the process? To find employees who will help you transition through your next big change, partner with the recruiting professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks Ventura County.