A fear of change certainly isn’t a new thing. People will stay in jobs, stay with companies, stay in marriages…all because it’s familiar and they’ve invested time they don’t want to “throw to the curb.” Sometimes that’s a good reason to resist change, but most of the time, it’s not.
Change has to happen in order to keep up with the times and keep things fresh. Your business has to navigate change to stay competitive in today’s market. So how do you help your employees understand that change is good – not something to be scared of? We already talked about helping your manager understand the benefit of leveraging change agents, but there is more that can be done!
Your manager has a big job on his hands when he’s initiating change in his area, but here are a few things he can do to make sure that he’s successful (and that his people don’t freak out!).
Make sure everyone understands the need for change – If your team doesn’t understand that change is necessary, they won’t be behind it. Ensure that your group understands that if you don’t make some changes, you won’t stay competitive or you won’t stay in business.
Assemble a team of people to lead the change – Like having “change agents” in your corner, you should have a team of people – including team leaders or even senior leadership – that helps put that change into motion. Your team should represent all areas the change will touch. If the change is company-wide that means you should have someone from every discipline from finance to distribution in the room. If you know of someone who’s an agent of change, help your manager by suggesting that this person is added, even if he’s not a leader.
Communicate the change as a vision – A sentence or a even a slogan that sums up the goals of your change and the future vision of your area will do wonders for keeping people on track. Communicate it often. As a Revolutionary Assistant, you can help your manager by taking charge of these messages, the cadence with which they’re broadcast, etc.
Be compassionate – Your manager should understand that people have legitimate concerns and fears, and he or she should do everything possible to quell those concerns. Not only is it the right thing to do from a human standpoint, but worry is unproductive and can get in the way of the project.
Remove obstacles – A manager clears the way for his team to get work done, and executing change is no exception to the rule.
Measure results – Your manager should have plans to collect and interpolate hard data in order to support the change initiative. That data will go a long way toward continued buy-in from upper management and his team. If hard data isn’t a part of the plan, encourage your manager to think a little harder about it!
Celebrate wins along the way – It’s better if you don’t just have the big goal in your sites. Break the whole change project down into bite sized pieces, and celebrate when each one of them is complete. That will increase your team’s buy in.
Bringing about change in your business can be easier than you thought, even if your culture is one that’s naturally resistant to change. Give these hints a try and see if you and your manager can’t create something fabulous that helps your business grow and get to the next level.
Next Post: Wednesday, May 14