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It’s been said that the only constant in life is change. But change is hard. And while the idea of a new technology tool or a switch in organizational structure can be appealing, the actual execution of such changes can be tumultuous. One of the most challenging parts of company changes is getting your staff on board with them. And since changes are bound to happen within your business, it’s important that your human resources (HR) team and leadership team are aligned so you can see them through with finesse. Here are some tips.
Provide the Bigger Picture
If your company has decided to change and streamline its customer service process, you and other leaders likely know why. Maybe the prior protocol was resulting in rampant customer dissatisfaction, or maybe you’ve found a more efficient system that will save time and resources. It’s important that this knowledge doesn’t stop at the top. Your team should be brought in about the reasons why things are changing, and how it’s going to impact them. Be as specific as possible, to ensure a complete transferal of understanding.
Furthermore, show them the numbers. If you’re implementing a new forecasting tool, for instance, give them examples of how this software can help you save money and better utilize resources. When they have actual numbers and reasons to grasp onto, you’re far more likely to get buy-in from your staff than if they don’t.
Let Them Try Before You Buy
Many times, the C-suite decides on a new piece of technology, a new office building or new HR policies without ever once consulting their employees. Of course, this is often handled this way in an effort to save time and keep important decisions out of the hands of junior staff. Sometimes, though, you can do a lot to boost morale and encourage your team to embrace change by including them in on it. The ultimate decision can still be up to you and other leaders, but it can be wise to bring everyone else into the process too.
For example, say you’re considering implementing a new sales and marketing software. Instead of springing the new solution on your staff with no advance warning, trying asking a representative from each department for their feedback. Have them sit for a demo, play around with the interface and hear about the benefits from a salesperson directly. Or if you’re looking at remodeling the office building, use interior designer software to mock up the vision you have so you can see if your staff likes it.
You never know; someone on your team might bring up a worthy point about why (or why not) the change should be made. And even if not, your employees will feel like their opinions and feedback mattered.
One of the most important aspects to keep in mind when undergoing organizational change is support. Whether offered by HR or direct managers, your business’ leaders should provide training (if applicable) and other forms of support to employees through the process. It’s not always acceptable to have your cell phone handy at the office or in a meeting, but you should be able to quickly respond to team members’ concerns and questions when big changes are underway. Consider investing in wearable technology, like a watch that boasts Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and allows you to use your apps without your smartphone. This is a perfect way to be there to support your staff.
Change is never easy, but there’s a lot you can do to improve the ease of the process and long-term buy-in from those on your team. Just remember: If you aren’t changing, you aren’t growing. So enjoy change, and help those within your company do so too.