Every organization experiences change and the effects are directly felt by everyone involved in that organization. Although as a manager you might feel as if you are at the center of the change, you should remember that your employees feel the effects too.
Besides, the employees are powerless and more vulnerable to the effects, because they are the ultimate executives of the orders received and their control is less. As a manager, you hold the best position to help employees in change management. Here are some ways for helping employees in change management.
1) Listening to the employees
When employees in your company experience change, they are tempted to talk about the change with you as the manager and with their coworkers. Although you should inform the employees about the change, it is your role to listen to their concerns regarding the change and help them adjust. Rather than interrupting or cutting them off their statements, you should not only listen but also allow the employees express their concerns fully.
2) Involve the employees in the process
One of the best ways to help employees in change management is involving them in decision making and discussions. By doing so, the employees will feel having some control over change in the company, thus improving their morale.
The involvement of employees is a golden chance for you as the manager to realize the valuable source of expertise that you might not find elsewhere. Also, the involvement of the employees gives you an opportunity to delegate them with tasks aimed at solving the problems that will arise from the change.
3) Caring about your employees
Any manager with caring actions and deeds to their employees will always be appreciated. Besides showing sincere interest in the accomplishments and successes of your employees, it is essential you show the interest when the employees are working under pressure and stress resulting from the change by addressing their issues, questions, and needs.
4) Saying the truth
It is tempting that you as the manager might be forced to sugarcoat things to tell your employees what they need to hear and not what is happening. But, instead of telling the employees that everything will work as expected with the introduction of the change, when everything is not okay, tell them the truth.
Telling the truth involves telling them the problems of the change, your plans to address the problems and how they can help get over the change. Keep realistic expectations.
Also, when things are worse, your honesty and openness with your employees at the time of crisis will help you get over the crisis easily and to pay dividends out of their goodwill, during and after the crisis.
5) Explaining about the change
Nobody likes being surprised by changes occurring in their organizations or jobs, especially when the changes are affecting them directly. All employees like being informed concerning possible changes that might cause a crisis in future, in their respective working environment.
Apart from informing employees to prepare on how to deal with the coming change, informing them about the potential change gives them a feeling of valued partners in the company, as well as important shareholders, thus helping you to implement the change with ease. While explaining the change, do not diminish the problems that will arise from the change and their role in solving the problems.
6) Seeking feedback from employees
If you want to know how to help employees in change management, you should hear from them and ensure you are listening to their feedback and ideas of how to deal with the change affecting their comfort. The most important source of tapping ideas on how to deal with change is from frontline workers.
The Reason for listening to employees is simple. Your employees mostly work closely with the customers, the products and the services the company is selling to the customers. Do not cut them off, but instead explore their ideas. A smart manager will differentiate between the advice which is genuine vs the advice which is not useful.
7) Keeping the vision alive
The most important thing you can do in your organization as a manager is to implement a future vision of the organization. The vision is a good way of keeping the employees on the toes when everything is running smoothly, but it is also essential when great changes occur in an organization, as well as when the company is faced with confusion and chaos from the employees due to changes.
This is because a consistent vision acts as a shining lighthouse of guidance to the employees of a company. They will direct their efforts in achieving a common goal, and will be inspired when facing challenges of changes in the organization.
Additionally, you can adjust the goals and visions of the company after addressing the concerns of the employees, by involving them in formulating changes in the vision, so that they are all accommodated and comfortable with the changes.
8) Modify what you can
After listening to the employees carefully, if you realize that some of the concerns can be easily solved, try and fix such issues by modifying where necessary to accommodate the change easily.
However, you should only fix what you have control over, especially issues resulting from misunderstanding and poor communication. To clear the uncertainties, and to have a positive impact on your employees, you should reassure your employees that you will solve the issues.
Nevertheless, if you find the problems raised by the employees result from the change but is beyond your powers as a manager, do not promise them anything because you cannot deliver, causing more problems.
A change in an organization might bring the feelings of job insecurity and resistance to the change among the employees. Hence, you should adopt ways of helping employees in change management.
The most prominent advice is is increasing your communications with the employees and giving them the opportunity to ask questions concerning the change. Also, you should involve the employees in the whole process of change implementation, by addressing their concerns and delegating tasks to make them feel part and parcel of the company.