Look up the word “change” in any search engine and you’ll be bombarded with quotes, statistics, songs, pictures, the list is almost endless. Change is what everyone wants, but sometimes when they experience it, change is incredibly unsettling.
As you begin to consider a new strategy for 2011, rolling out a new product line or perhaps cutting back on expenditures, you’re going to deal with making a change. You’re changing because if you don’t change with the market and the rest of your industry – you’ll be left behind. As you lead your company and its employees, you’ll have to prepare everyone for the changes that result from accomplishing your goals.
Remember change is emotional – and that’s where you should start. If you can appeal to the emotional side of your employees, the job of changing proceeds a bit smoother. Point out how the work everyone does serves other people, creates a sense of belonging, or makes life easier for someone.
When you approach your business with this mindset, you’ll quickly target the areas that have emotional appeal – educating everyone about this revelation helps build strong emotional ties that will help navigate the rough seas ahead. This bond unifies everyone and brings out his or her best efforts.
Another tool you can use when undergoing change is transferring knowledge. Use everything at your disposal to illustrate exactly what the situation is, and what it can become after the changes have been accomplished. This includes sales forecasts, market studies, trending analysis and case studies of similar actions. Presenting facts and figures is a bit easier than managing the emotional piece because they can be presented in a clear and illustrative manner.
As you work through the changes, communication becomes vital. Even though in today’s workplace, we’re given an endless capacity to communicate through phone, email, text, portals, social networking sites and more – we often fall short.
Time is usually the culprit – in any dynamic situation, employees will fill in the cracks of ambiguity with their own information and this information is rarely correct. You’ll want to be involved in the communication process at crucial points. Holding town meetings and one on one discussions with key influencers in a casual atmosphere is key to laying fears and anxieties to rest. An hour of your time goes a long way in achieving total buy in.
Asking people to make big changes in their lives is a daunting task, but if you’re going to achieve your goals, it’s a change you’ll be happy to have made!