The Small Business Times

How To Help Your Employees Adapt To Change

Best practices and technologies are changing all the time, which means that how you operate your business today might not be practical or profitable in the future.

As a business owner or manager, you might be entirely accepting and open to the idea of change, but the same can’t always be said for employees. 

When you’re about to undertake significant changes in your business that might overwhelm your team and lead to dissatisfaction, you might like to take some of the following actions to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. 

Opt For Human-Centered Change Management

Sometimes, helping your team adapt to new changes in your business is as easy as working with a management consultant to guide your business leaders through those changes. 

Management consultants can help your stakeholders craft a strong case for changes, help you understand your future goals, and work with senior leaders to ensure active and visible participation to get your team on board.

They can even help you develop a plan to communicate changes to your team and plan the changes around your people rather than the other way around to maintain a healthy working environment

Be Patient

Depending on the changes you’ll be making in your business, there are bound to be employees who don’t adapt within the timeframe you expected. There might even be employees who make mistakes, speak and act negatively about the changes and refuse to adopt your established practices. 

While frustrating to contend with employees who don’t actively make an effort to advance with your business, patience can be pivotal for seeing positive changes in the future. The more effort you put into guiding your team through the new changes, the better the outcome might be. 

Help Your Employees Feel Secure

Change can be nerve-wracking for employees when they feel their position, paycheck, or future with the company is no longer guaranteed. With this on their mind, they might respond to potential change by looking for another job, providing poor customer service, or being less productive. 

You might be able to help your employees adapt by assisting them to feel more secure about their future with the company. Let them know that you’ll guide them through the many changes you’ll be making and reassure them that their position and the benefits they receive will remain in place.

However, if anything about their role does change, inform them as soon as you can so they can decide how they want their future with the company to look. 

Provide Ongoing Training

When you’re upgrading software or changing the way your team needs to perform their daily tasks, it can be a lot for them to come to terms with. They might not understand how these changes impact their job and might be overwhelmed by the prospect of learning new technology and managing a complete digital transformation

Alleviate their concerns and help them remain proficient at their job by providing ongoing training. The company you work with to elicit change might be able to help with training tips, or you can put together helpful guides, tutorials, and classes yourself. 

Identify The Forming Groups

Three groups are known to form whenever businesses and companies undertake significant changes: resisters, embracers, and fence-sitters. Resisters will vigorously resist all change, and embracers will take any new business practices in their stride.

Fence-sitters are those employees who can be easily swayed by workers on opposite ends of the spectrum. By being aware of the groups that form, you are in a strong position to harness the positivity of the embracers and bring fence-sitters onboard.

With time, perseverance, and patience, it might only be a matter of time before those who strongly oppose your changes begin to see the value. 

Keep The Lines Of Communication Open

Not everyone will be happy about the changes you’re making within your company, and some employees might have valid concerns that impact their ability to do their jobs. Rather than taking a ‘like it or lump it’ approach, keep the lines of communication open. 

Provide opportunities for employees to discuss their concerns with you and consider sending out anonymous surveys to gather as much feedback as possible. Your willingness to hear your team might ensure a smooth transition. 

Some employees will adjust to company changes right away, while others will need more time. If you take these actions above, you might enjoy a much smoother and easier transition than you thought possible.