Implementing change in business isn’t easy. It can be downright frightening to a lot of people. For companies to remain competitive, change is part of evolving. If it achieves a better result overall, that kind of change doesn’t have to be such a bad thing.
Do you know how managers can implement change successfully in the workplace? As a manager, it is your responsibility to implement change in a fair and equitable way towards employees and customers. Here are the ten best ways on how managers can implement change successfully:
1. Be bold with implementing change
As manager, it is up to you to lead the necessary conversation to implement change successfully. You can’t dilly-dally with it. If your employees aren’t excited about it, tough.
This shouldn’t mean you avoid change nor does it suggest the opposite in the sense of ignoring the lack of excitement and not hearing employees. Prepare yourself to face those in disagreement and have strategies in place to deal with that.
2. Be urgent and honest with a time frame
Change can’t be forced on an organization. The organization and its contributors must want it. Communicate a sense of urgency around the need for change. Motivate change management and implementation by outlining the time frame by which it must be done.
Identify what happens if the change isn’t instituted within the defined time frame and share the opportunities missed when this change isn’t instituted. Even among those who disagree, this at least gets communications started, which will help the managers implement change successfully.
3. Start with executive-level management
To move forward with change in a business, you need full acceptance through your executive branch. If all managers present a vision that is clear and aligned, this increases the likelihood of acceptance. In most cases, backlash or disagreement with a change springs from an emotional place.
A weak link in management fosters more emotion and gives permission to express that dissent against change. This is why it is absolutely mandatory to have agreement among executives.
4. Initiate a change management process
When there’s change in an organization at any level, the safest and most accepting way to complete it is through a multi-step process. Change shouldn’t feel like a sudden jerk. Identify where you want to be and outline a process to get you there, involving what’s required in execution.
Consider the roles of employees and open yourself up to the possibility of modifying your process to accommodate additional concerns.
5. Every stakeholder will have needs to be met
The further down this change goes, the more stakeholders get involved. Each demographic has their own needs. Anticipate how you intend to meet and/or consider those. See the change through the eyes of a customer, team member, leader, or employee.
Before implementing change, you’ve got to consider how to successfully engage employees and guide them towards a designated outcome.
6. Understand change makes some people uncomfortable
To implement change successfully, one must acknowledge it can take time for some to get accustomed to the idea. Oftentimes, there’s an immediate defence in response to losing the previous situation.
After this passes, one begins to explore the possibility of change and its effect both positive and negative. Then, there is acceptance and sometimes reluctantly so. Even if a manager doesn’t see eye to eye with those in disagreement, one must respect that change means a loss to some.
7. Translate change so that it’s relevant to every employee
You don’t want there to be any misunderstandings around a change. Through one-on-one communication and/or group communication, ensure change is outlined in specific terms. A manager must also rely on the leaders around them to help facilitate and operationalize the change.
Managers should make implementing change for the workplace as easy as possible. Give them the tools and resources required to make change a reality.
8. Embrace resistance to change
If you allow resistance to have a voice in the room, you minimize the likelihood of it festering outside of it. We see this approach taken by governments all over the world. Create a forum, if needed, where change can be discussed and explored by those who are in disagreement. Expect some resistance.
9. Celebrate process-driven successes
In the process of implementing change, celebrate the difference it is making and those early victories towards achieving the desired final change. By allowing people to see the positives of change, the success can further bring them towards acceptance.
If you can get the support of an overwhelming majority based on the initial response and these success stories, this is further towards completing the process of achieving change in the workplace.
10. Be clear in every expectation and standard
Implementing change will come with certain expectations in performance, conduct, or standards. Ensure all stakeholders understand what will be expected of them under this new change. Get them motivated to achieve change.
Ensure you have instituted metrics yourself to monitor an organization to ensure change is maintained. If there are defined targets, report on progress towards them at specific intervals.