Businesses often have to change the way they operate in order to try and stay competitive in their industry. Yet change can often bring resistance, with staff reluctant to give up what they may see as tried and tested methods. One of the key factors in initiating successful change is taking your employees with you, involving them and keeping them engaged throughout the process. Most importantly it’s keeping them informed.
In a Robert Half study, 65% of managers thought communication was the most important part of leading any team through change. Frequent and consistent communication across the many channels used in a business environment today will keep staff updated with progress which affects them, stopping potentially disruptive rumours circulating based on heresay and lack of knowledge. Opportunities should be given for employees and stakeholders to ask questions, illustrating to them recognition of their importance in the ultimate success of any transition.
Staff can often revert to old ways, such as accessing old systems if left available during an IT upgrade. Ongoing training and workshops engage employees and provide a platform to exchange ideas as well as tips and tricks in getting the best out of the new systems, thereby increasing productivity. Recognised employee productivity may initially decrease somewhat as they get used to new systems, and workload management may be key in supporting them and keeping them on board with the change.
The major driving force behind the need for business to make change is competitiveness. Detailing to employees and stakeholders the aims of the change and how they will be implemented is crucial. Communicating the business case and keeping staff updated on a regular basis on how it will improve the business and their prospects by association will help prevent resistance to change.
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