For the most part I hate change. Of course, I realize that sometimes change is good and my life is often improved by a new innovation. That doesn’t mitigate the fact that the new learning and integration cause me a certain level of frustration and a lack of confidence in how I should move forward. Despite some people’s assertions that they “love change”, I think that there are a lot of people out there that share my feelings. And if you are going to introduce some sort of change into your organization, here are five ways that you can help the team process it and accept it more willingly.
Understand Their Position – Have you ever found yourself accidently driving toward your workplace on a Saturday? How about moving your hand to adjust your glasses, but you’re wearing contacts? We are creatures of habit and in those habits we find a certain amount of comfort. Most personal coaches will encourage you to develop positive and productive habits in order to be more successful. Since changes in policy, schedule, location, etc. can affect the productive processed of your entire staff, you should be cautious as you implement them. Understand that this process can be challenging and act with compassion.
Use Your Influencers – When change seems to be coming from one person (leader) down to the rest of us (staff), it can come across as dogmatic and capricious. If this feeling is prevalent, your team may respond with rejection and even subversion. This does not bode well for the change you are trying to make. To minimize this reaction have preliminary discussions with the influencers in the group. Get their opinion on the change and get their support. They can then feed positive input about the change before it is even announced.
Demonstrate the Value – People are willing to be convinced that the new process is worth the pain of change. As such they are waiting for you to show them the benefit to the company or to them as individuals. Take the time to get your facts in order and demonstrate the value of the change you want or need to make. If you can’t do this, perhaps you should rethink the change.
Give Them Time to Integrate – As a leader, you’ve been involved with this new idea for some time. Perhaps the idea was yours and you love it dearly. In any event, the process of developing a change has allowed you to integrate it into your work process and come to grips with its ramifications. This is not so true for those who are seeing the change for the first time.
Intervene Privately for Laggards – Not everyone responds and adapts to change at the same pace. Sometimes this is purposeful and the individual is being an obstructionist. But it may be that he or she just hasn’t been able to make the adjustment. In any case, we would recommend that you meet with that individual in private and work together to make a plan for moving forward.