Maureen Leif, President, Grays Peak Strategies
Have you ever experienced a reorganization in your work environment? How did it make you feel? Unsettled, uneasy, anxious are all been words expressed by employees going through changes at work. A few years ago my wonderful high functioning team was being moved to a new division under a new Director. At some level everyone on the team felt anxious about what the changes meant for each of us personally and as a team. There were new members being added and some of our team were being moved elsewhere. Change is inevitable and everywhere, this we all know. We also know that change can be very productive and healthy. So how then do leaders ensure that they are managing change in a way that is accepted, increases productivity, reduces stress on staff, and creating an environment that embraces change rather than resist?
Good leaders understand that change and evolution in the way we do business, it creates efficiencies and the potential for better outcomes, however they also understand that change has to be managed strategically and with sensitively to ensure that the outcomes of the changes desired are fully realized.
One way organizations can reduce aversion or negative impact is to ensure that there is a clear and understandable process. The process will help ensure that the desired change is implemented fairly which is especially important when employees perceive an outcome as negative. Helping your team embrace change starts with the realization that it normal to resist and often consciously or subconsciously sabotage. Contemplate that even small changes to someone’s job functions or environment to big changes such as new leadership or a new system may require you to implement a plan to address change management.
Often times it can be beneficial to utilize a neutral party to assess the level to which the change may affect staff and provide guidance as to how best address potential obstacles.
Just as in our personal lives, change takes time and is a process not an event. Some people embrace and even thrive on change while others may need additional time to process. It is important to acknowledge this fact in the planning and not set unrealistic expectations or goals. As changes occur, it’s important to make sure all members of the team are supporting the new system, initiative or change and supporting the success. Implementing a structured process to change management aids the acceptance and support of the new initiative. Grays Peak Strategies works with you to set a course for success and to help your organization and to manage change to ensure success. Contact us and we can start the journey together.