Change Happens! Yes, it is true…Change happens, and generally people don’t like change. So, how do you get your staff on board with big changes in your business?
Whether you are changing your Method & Procedure, your staff routing, your compensation package, or something really big, like new management, it is possible to get your staff on-board with the new changes if you are careful about how you handle it.
First – keep in mind is to plan out how you will introduce the change to your staff. Will you issue a memo, discuss it in an all-staff meeting, or announce it at a company fun event? Identify a time and a place that all of your staff will be notified of the change at one time. Not including everyone may prompt a feeling of being left out.
Second – Describe the change in terms of how it affects the staff. What are the who, what, where, when and why’s of what is about to happen? Be sure to avoid all of the details that are unnecessary, and will confuse your issue. For example, if you have promoted an employee to be a new manager, it is good to say that “after careful selection we feel that we have found a very qualified person”, but it is not necessary to mention the exact criteria that you used to promote this person.
Third – Highlight the benefits of the change to the employees first. For example, if you are about to change your staff teams because it will allow you to increase your staff size, point out benefits that the employees will see as a result of this change. Things like shorter days, less last minute changes due to employee illness, etc.
Fourth – If appropriate, involve the staff in a minor point of the change. For example, let’s say you were changing the method and procedure. You may have an idea of the basic changes that you want to make, but in order to include the staff you could involve them by asking them to edit the new handbook, name certain processes or make other targeted suggestions.
Fifth – Believe in the change, and don’t waiver from initial whining. As we mentioned, nobody likes change, so it is to be expected there might be some reservations or even complaints from the staff when a big change is first presented. I find that if you stay positive about the change that most people will come around.
Six – Watch out for toxic people. Some people are more resistant to change then others. If you find after a big change that there is one staff member who just can’t get with the program, then you may want to make a conscious effort to prevent them from infecting the others with their non-open mind.