My Best Practices for Implementing Change at the Office
Stagnancy and complacency can be dangerous traits in a business. In fact, they can slowly strangle your company’s bottom line. That’s why one of my maxims is “Don’t be afraid of change.” Of course, when you make changes, you should always be sure you have thought your course through and are doing it for the right reasons. But don’t let the fear of change, or the effort involved, scare you away from doing what needs to be done.
You might have developed an exciting course of action which will improve your company, streamline processes, and make everything run more smoothly and efficiently. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy to implement! Many people feel an inherent resistance to change of any kind because change is uncomfortable. It forces them to move outside their comfort zone and explore new things – and that scares a lot of people.
Take the following three points into consideration to ensure your business undergoes a successful transition:
- Come up with a plan and carry it out efficiently.
First, you must consider why you’re changing things. If there is no concrete benefit which will be gained, you are simply wasting your time.
- Explain your rationale.
Now is not the time to keep secrets. The second step is to explain the reasoning behind the changes and the expected benefits.
Why? Because gossip and misinformation will always step in to fill a vacuum. Always. So your job is to make sure there is no room for gossip or misinformation to spread. How? You need to communicate directly to your employees. Before you do that though, think about how your employees are going to receive this information. A huge tip which will make your life easier: explain why you think this change is necessary and beneficial for them. Don’t simply issue a directive. Tailor the delivery of this news in a way that speaks to your team and understands their potential concerns.
- Understand your employees’ point of view and make them feel heard.
Finally, you should understand that not every attempt at change will be successful. It’s okay to admit that you were wrong and go back to the drawing board. But even if the change works out exactly as you’d planned, it may not be popular among your entire team. The simple act of having compassion for the difficulty the change may cause in their day to day will go a long way toward improving morale.
In summary, come up with a plan which accounts for all of the above: the why, the how, the timeline, and the delivery. Express change logically in a way that employees can understand and relate to, while offering compassion for the impact this will have on your employees. This will save you a lot of trouble in the long run!
As a business coach and consultant, I’ve guided multiple companies through transitions of all kinds and I can do the same for you. Contact me here to learn more.