In my professional experience and even personally, I have found that not everyone embraces change. Some fear it because familiarity is comfortable and they want to maintain the status quo. For others, revelling in the past can be a much safer position of power. Understandably, the future – and the unknown – can be scary for some people.
But change is essential to grow personally, or organisationsationally.
Here are 7 tried and tested ways to help you reduce any resistance to change:
- Get it right first time
A powerful tool in making any type of change on a large scale is to develop a robust change-management process.
For my own organisation, I have developed an equality impact assessment process which includes a Board-approved policy and an approved corporate template. I designed an equality impact assessment training programme aimed at managers who may need to lead on the commissioning of organisational change or who have been tasked to decommission an area. This is the same process as developing a new policy or strategy.
Having a robust system in place that everyone knows and understands will enable progress to be smooth and inclusive to your staff and or users of your service. For those LinkedIn readers from the UK and working in the public sector, this type of process will also reflect your public-sector duties under the Equality Act 2010.
Dissenters may remember any previous organisational change ‘hiccups’ from the past, so reassure them that this new change is being managed differently.
- Be transparent
Be upfront from the get-go about the need for change, as clear communication will help to quell any rumours and misinformation about your plans.
Do your team members understand why change is being planned and implemented? Do they appreciate the business benefits of the changes that are proposed?
Keep channels of communication open and put procedures in place for employees to feed back any anxieties they may have about the changes that are taking place.
- Capture that positive energy!
Any resistance to change can be remedied by simply capturing any positive viewpoints from colleagues. The energy of the group can be harnessed and leveraged into positive energy, thus watering down any potential resistance and encouraging those who are keen to see the change in action.
If members of staff are still anxious about the proposed changes, explore the potential benefits with them to begin to change their viewpoint and encourage optimism about the process.
- Offer training and development
When new procedures and processes are put in place, employees may feel ill-equipped to manage their new roles.
Offer training development options, along with new resources and equipment where necessary, so that everyone fully understands how to carry out their jobs under the new regime.
- Encourage participation in the process
If employee stakeholders can play a role in the plans and the implementation of the change, they will feel more confident that their views and opinions are being taken into consideration and that the change will not put them at a disadvantage.
This confidence will lead to more positive engagement in the process of change, and a happier workforce who feel ‘heard’.
- Keep communication active throughout implementation
Teams that receive information at the start of the change process but hear nothing else after that are likely to feel unsettled and insecure. Set up lines of communication, including named points of contact, so that progress and setbacks can be reported at any stage of the procedures.
About Beverley Powell
Beverley Powell is a UK certified Life Coach and A Diversity Manager for the NHS . She was nationally recognised in 2014 by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) as one of the top 50 BME Pioneers for her work around strategic inclusion within the National Health Service (NHS).
Beverley has also been recognised by NHS Employers 2014 for her work on strategically embedding Diversity through the workforce and in particular her work around the Transgender agenda.