How to Implement Change Successfully

Employees generally hate change. Whether it’s a merger or restructuring, or a simple change in the color of the office carpet, studies show both staff members and managers resist.

The reactions may seem irrational but change can suggest an invasion of turf. Some employees feel it lowers their status or eliminates privileges. They might also worry that new procedures or equipment will make it more difficult to do the same tasks or increase their workloads.

And above all, staff members worry about job security. Changes in an organization or a new boss may suggest to some that they will lose their jobs.

Here are 10 ways to create harmony during transitions:

  1. Announce the plan. Let employees know about the general plan and explain why it is necessary.
  2. Accentuate the positive. Minimize the negatives and emphasize the positive factors that make the change desirable and necessary.
  3. Answer all questions candidly. Be transparent as possible.
  4. Champion the change. Have cheerleaders of change to lead and guide everyone through the process.
  5. Hold trial runs. Use tests and trail runs to help overcome doubts.
  6. Involve the entire company from the beginning. Let as many employees as possible participate in planning and executing the changes.
  7. Allocate ample resources. Employees need support when implementing change. They may need help from other personnel, financial support and time to make the change.
  8. Accept that change is a process and takes time. Have patience.
  9. Monitor the change. Make sure that the plan proceeds as expected and deal with any unanticipated problems.
  10. Review the results. Schedule a review to ensure that the changes went into effect as planned and that backsliding isn’t undercutting the effort. Compare results with expectations, and be prepared to make alterations.

Change doesn’t need to be anxiety producing and painful. These 10 strategies should help in making the process stay focused and productive.