What Managers Should Do To Make Change Happen
Change within organisations is never easy, however much that change is needed and anticipated: the real skill in successful change lies in tapping into the emotions, the “hearts and minds” of those affected, rather than just relying on the data and the facts on why the change is necessary.
- What about dealing with denial?
Whilst using facts to explain why change is needed has a value, greater emphasis is needed on talking staff through the likely change process in the short and medium term, painting the big picture and allowing them time to air their views.
- What about anxiety and resentment?
Both are very likely to be surfacing very quickly and will be uppermost in the minds of those staff that are both directly, and indirectly, impacted by the change. It is essential to give them the time to air their grievances whilst explaining the outcomes if the change is not delivered. It is critically important to be very clear that change cannot be reversed once started.
- What about feeling and actions resulting from Apathy towards the change?
Encouragement is needed on a regular basis to counteract negativity here, delivered in small messages but dons consistently and carefully. Stress that the work of the staff groups affected is vital to the overall success of the business, encouraging as many questions as possible. Always go for quick wins to gather some momentum moving forward.
- What about welcoming the future?
Providing clear and measurable goals that reinforce the change is a key managerial responsibility in any change process, linking these to long terms goals where possible. Successes need to be emphasised and used as examples of commitment and positive acceptance of the change process, accompanied by a clear and transparent encouragement/reward for those staff who are responding well to the change.
Above all else focus upon winning staff over and avoid, at all costs, a bludgeoning and clumsy management style that will only harden resistance and create resentment.
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