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Planning for Change in the Workplace

Knowledge Center / Blog

Planning for Change in the Workplace

By The Employer Group - Mar 07, 2024

How many times have you heard “pivot” lately? We’re not referencing you and your friends moving a couch into your apartment. It’s a term many business leaders know too well: it’s when you have to abandon a current plan in the face of strategic planning or adversity to ensure continued success, not just for your leadership time but also for your customers, vendors, business partners, and most importantly, employees.

When the time to pivot arrives, there is undoubtedly change that funnels throughout an organization. This can sometimes be large-scale change, and sometimes small-scale. Regardless, business leaders should understand what that change means for employees and have plans in place to help everyone adapt. This is widely referred to as “change management.”

Far too often, employees resist change. Many are uncomfortable with learning new skills, updating processes, or being held to new performance standards. It’s critical for business leaders to develop and implement a plan to help employees overcome these fears or challenges. If not, the change you thought was going to bring continued success may sink you.

Developing a plan to guide employees through change can make or break an organization’s outcome. Many businesses try to operationalize change, which is a method of normalizing how changes happen throughout an entire organization. Ideally, get employees involved in how the change will be implemented. A successful change management plan has employees participating in the decision-making, thus making them more likely to readily adopt the change. Hold meetings with them to explain why the change is occurring, ask them how the needed changes will impact them, and engage them in developing the processes and procedures to implement the change.

Another important aspect of getting employees on board with the change is to be mindful and thoughtful about the communication methods and messages related to the change. Terminology is a key to your success. Consider using words like “improve” when appropriate, or even “modify” if there is something smaller that needs to be done. Ensure your communications around the change tells employees why the change is important, how it benefits them, and how it benefits your customers. Mandate required meetings with staff and front-line managers to hear any employee complaints and find solutions as a management team to address employee concerns. Consider a “Frequently Asked Questions” tool to communicate to everyone the status of the project and to address what you’re hearing from employees.

Change is difficult. But with thoughtful planning on how the change impacts employees and getting them involved in the process, your pivot will have a better chance of success than if you don’t.



This information does not constitute legal advice.

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