Workplace change. It can be daunting and scary, but it’s crucial for business growth. What worked well once, may not always work – and that’s ok.
If you’re feeling like change is in the air, how do you make sure it’s effective?
Here are our top tips:
💡 Do your due diligence – Before your initiate any change, make sure you have those ducks in a row. Review the team structure, roles and all employment documentation for those impacted. It’s important you start a change process knowing all the facts. If you kick things off without fully preparing, you’re already putting yourself on the back foot.
💡 Think about the bigger picture – It’s important to future proof change. If you’re proposing a new structure, will this structure still work in 6 months’ time? What might change that could influence it no longer working? Change can be a big deal for people. You want to instill confidence that the proposed plan is well thought out and best placed for future success.
💡 Know your proposal back to front – Remember change is business led and HR acts to support a fair and consistent process. If you’re a leader proposing change, you need to own it. If you’re clear as to why this change is necessary, your people are more likely to be onboard with it.
💡 Communicate, communicate, communicate – Communication is the most important strategy through the change journey. You cannot OVER-communicate. If employees feel you’re withholding information, the negativity bias will kick in and so will the negative chatter. Be transparent and keep your people in the loop.
💡 Set out a timeframe – And stick to it. Employees want to know when things will be progressing. If the timeframe needs to change that’s fine but (you guessed it)… communicate it!
💡 Use the right language – It’s not over until the HR lady sings! That means everything is a proposal until you have run a proper process. Ensure the language you use makes clear that nothing is set in stone yet.
💡 Genuinely consider feedback – A key part of getting the change process right is 1) giving the opportunity for the employee to provide feedback and 2) actually considering it. Are there adjustments you can make to implement their feedback? What have you overlooked? If you are unable to take onboard the feedback, you must have a genuine business reason as to why and be prepared to back it up.
💡 Be conscious your people may resist change – We’re all human and a lot of us recoil at the thought of change. It’s important to recognise change might impact some more than others. Change is a sensitive process so lead with courtesy and patience.
Remember, old ways don’t open new doors. Change is necessary and ongoing. The difference between effective change and poor change is being able to follow process and successfully lead your way through it.
Disclaimer: These tips are high level. For in-depth details on change management, get in touch with our team.