Helping Employees Embrace Workplace Change
Workplace changes are common across all organizations. Although some employees may embrace various changes to company systems or procedures, most individuals find workplace changes to be confusing, stressful and overwhelming. In fact, a recent study found that 71% of employees who experienced a large company change within the last year were less satisfied with their job than those who experienced little to no change.
While companies can’t avoid change in the workplace, there are steps they can take to minimize the negative effects that change can have on employees, such as dissatisfaction and burnout. To ensure a smooth transition, try the following action items:
- Communicate the change early on. Have an open discussion with employees about why the change is occurring and what the expectations are for the change (e.g., better work environment, equipment, operations or opportunities). Never wait to communicate a huge initiative until the last second.
- Recognize the achievements made under the old systems or operations. It’s important for employees to feel that all their hard work is still appreciated and is not being overlooked by the new system or procedure.
- Discuss the pros and cons. Be transparent about any roadblocks or inconveniences employees may experience during the change.
- Explain who will be affected and how. Before the change occurs, ensure all employees are aware of how it may affect them individually or as a department.
- Explain when the change will occur. If possible, provide employees with a timeline for when the change will be taking place and how long it will take for the company to prepare for it.
- Allow employees to express their concerns. After presenting the change, give employees the chance to ask questions or discuss any concerns they may have. Managers should touch base with employees throughout the transition process to ensure all employees are supported and well-informed.
- Implement the change in stages. If there are various phases to the new change, try implementing them over time. This allows employees more time to grasp any new concepts and ask questions as necessary.
- Be open to any modifications to the new procedure or operation. Once the transition has begun, be open to any new suggestions that employees may have that could improve any new systems or processes.
Additional articles from the March 2020 Employee Benefits Newsletter:
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