Managing Organizational Change

Change can be hard for anyone, but managing organizational change can be particularly challenging in the workplace. Especially as a leader, you need to be familiar with the dynamics of change since even the most minor changes in your organization can have a significant impact on your business. Ultimately, you need to have a positive culture for change to help your employees work through the "change curve" and a plan in place to make a smooth transition.

A Better Leader and the Projections team have decades of experience with effectively helping employers to increase employee engagement and retention, improve overall workplace culture, and develop ethical and empowered leaders within their organization. We will cover strategies for managing organizational change with tangible tips for leaders to implement with their teams.

Strategies for Managing Organizational Change

It's crucial to have the skills to manage change as a leader. Understandably so, it may be difficult to know how to best handle this in the workplace. Here are some strategies you can implement in your organization to help alleviate some of the stress and confusion that comes with change, big or small when it happens at work.

  1. Keep the reason for the upcoming change transparent. Be open and honest with all members of your staff about why the change is happening and why it's necessary. Clearly communicate why the decision(s) are being made.
  2. Share your ideal outcome and the positive impacts you envision that the change(s) will have on your organization and the employees who work there.
  3. Set expectations surrounding the changes being made and create open lines of communication between management and employees. There should be an open-door policy for employee questions, if not already standard across the board in the organization.
  4. Request feedback from employees so they know you have their best interests in mind. They are your most important asset, and this will help with a smoother transition and less employee resistance.
  5. Seek advice from your HR professionals on how to best relay communications to the whole team and field questions as they come from employees. Communications can include internal social media channelsemployee apps, email, up-to-date webpages, etc.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of the strategies for managing organizational change, but it's a great start. Implementing these tips will get you started on a great path for positively facilitating changes in the workplace. In addition to the above strategies, there are other plans you should have in place that will make leading your teams through organizational change easier and lead to overall workplace success. If increased employee retention, higher employee productivity, and having a more involved and focused workforce are goals within your organization, here are some areas you should look to focus on and train your leaders to be the experts in!

Implementing all of the above will help you to create authentic employee connections and become an employer of choice. Training your leaders in these areas will help them to move your organization forward and exceed business goals, along with ensuring they are positive champions of change.

Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change

Naturally, there may be some resistance to the changes happening in your workplace. Resistance can happen with even the most positive of organizational changes - because change can be difficult to both implement and process. However, we believe that steps can be taken to overcome change resistance. When combined with the right leadership training, the tips listed above can lead to a smooth transition and less resistance from employees.

When they hear about big changes in their workplace, the initial reaction of your employees can be that of shock, confusion, or even anger. This is completely normal, but it doesn't have to have lasting negative impacts on them or your organization. When your team members trust that you are being authentic and leading ethically and with integrity, openly communicating the reasons for change, and sharing how the changes will affect them and their daily lives, it will lead to a successful implementation of change!

Working Through Other Change Barriers

Aside from employee resistance, you may face some additional barriers to change, such as a lack of communication, insufficient direction, or even a lack of buy-in from upper management and leadership - whether actual or perceived. It simply can't be overstated: keeping the lines of communication wide open between management and employees will significantly reduce the barriers to change. Involve employees in the process from start to finish, and provide plenty of opportunities for questions and sharing concerns. Most importantly, your leaders should be the champions for change and fully on board through the entire change curve. If your leaders aren't confident with the skills required for leading organizational change, it's time to provide them with the training and knowledge they need!

Training for Leading Organizational Change

It's normal to feel underprepared for leading organizational change in the workplace since it's a skill that needs to be developed. Along with your leadership team, you need to feel confident in your abilities to help your employees through workplace changes. That's where training, like "Managing Organizational Change" from A Better Leader can prepare you through the process of leading organizational change and help you with a seamless transition through the stages of the change curve. Here's what you and your leaders will take away from this training:

  • The importance of a Change Culture in your workplace
  • Tips on how to positively affect the Change Culture in your organization
  • An understanding of how to work with change instead of against it

You can schedule a free demo or sign up for a 14-day trial to get started with your first training today. Help your leaders feel empowered and confident to start effectively managing organizational change!

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About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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