Essential Strategies for Managing Change
Change is an inevitable aspect of fast-evolving modern business, and one of the commonest challenges faced by managers and leaders is that enabling their employees to understand and accept the need for organisational or cultural change. Change Management is a complex topic and a vital skill for any manager or leader.
The skills and strategies required to successfully manage change cannot be acquired ?on-the-job?; there is no real substitute for effective and comprehensive management training such as that provided by our 'Managing Yourself and Your Team Through Change' course.
We provide this, and other valuable change management courses, both as classroom-based learning or, if preferred, as on-line training for managers and leaders who cannot dedicate time away from the workplace. Our E-learning system enables delegates to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge required for managing change at a time and pace that suits them best.
For managers and leaders who have been thrust in at the deep end of handling business change prior to receiving appropriate business skills training, here are a few key strategies that are essential to any successful campaign of change management.
Announce and explain organisational change at the first opportunity
The prospect of forthcoming change can be unsettling for employees at every level of an organisation. The sooner that they are made aware that change is happening and are given the explicit reasons for the change, the sooner the process of accepting and adapting to change can begin.
Faced with change, employees will react in different ways; some will embrace change if they feel it will improve their situation, some will accept it philosophically and carry on as they were and others will display varying degrees of resistance. In this unsettled environment unfounded and often negative rumours have a tendency to spread among employees and can be detrimental to morale, motivation and productivity. As a manager, an important aspect of change management is to reassure employees and replace harmful rumour with fact.
Provide information and updates at every stage of the change process
During any process of organisational change information tends to be drip-fed from the top of the management hierarchy down to the employees. In order to allay accusations from employees that they are deliberately being kept in the dark, a manger should be able provide reassurance that all relevant information will be disseminated as soon as it is received. It is better to deliver bad news in a timely and appropriate manner than to withhold information in the hope of maintaining morale; this can lead to mistrust and resentment.
Maintain positivity at all times
Whatever your personal opinion of organisational change it is vital to be non-critical and positive about the process in all dealings with colleagues and staff. Leading by example, you should demonstrate positivity towards change and respect for the decisions of senior management at all times and reinforce these attitudes within your own team.
Be as accessible and supportive to your team as possible
During a period of business change your employees will look to you, as their manager or leader, for support, guidance and information more than ever. They may be uncertain or anxious and will certainly have questions that they would like answered. By making yourself as available to them as possible you can help to maintain morale, allay fears and manage expectations, helping to facilitate change and its acceptance by your team.