“I just don’t like change!” said an employee whose company was merging with another. At least she was vocal about it. Most employees who don’t like change dig in their heels, come to work grumpy, hide in or corner, or quit. And you can’t just say “Suck it up - change is inevitable.”
Here are a few strategies to help you help your employees through the changes that are constantly going on in your company:
The Why - Let employees know the reason for the change. If it’s a new system or procedure, explain the benefits. It is important that communication comes from the CEO (or as high up as possible) to explain the “why.” And repeat communication with updates throughout the process.
The Tools - Make sure employees get the training, information, support and tools to help them through the change. If your company is being purchased, there should be a transition team to provide information to keep employees posted on new opportunities. If there’s a new system, schedule your employees for training asap.
The Support - Reinforce good behavior - often. When an employee shows acceptance or adoption of anything new, offer a pat on the back. Even if it’s a small acceptance like a positive comment about the new procedure, or shift in culture. It’s your job as a leader to praise your employees when they inch toward progress.
And remember, not everyone changes at the same rate at the same time. You might have one employee adapt to something new and one take a little bit longer. Be patient.