Humans are creatures of habit and therefore find it challenging to adopt changes to their routines, no matter how beneficial it may be. This is due to the fact that we are susceptible to doing things which pertain to our instant gratification, which make us feel good, secure and comfortable. In today’s business world, change is the one main constant. As much as we would like to maintain comfortable circumstances, we are powerless to prevent the flow of events that shake the status quo.
Every day we learn about new technology which has the impact to disrupt our daily operations. These unknown possibilities may cause pressure, however it is by our willingness to embrace and adapt to them, so that we become successful in an era of change.
Being open and flexible helps to rewire your approach into accepting a changing landscape. After all, if managed well change can bring numerous benefits. Needless to say, there are risks, and learning how to manage and anticipate such developments will make the acceptance of change easier. Through the analysis of risk we can better understand what we can control and what we cannot. Being prepared for things you can control is vital in identifying and adapting to change.
To overcome resistance, we need to spur employee engagement where staff gives their feedback on how to best address change. This empowers people, making them feel they are in the driver’s seat, as their opinion makes an impact. It is a question of mindset where we understand that it is a process of learning and through it we become stronger.
Senior management should also address personal concerns of employees. How will this change impact their daily routines? Will this change affect their career growth, stability and working schedule?
Change needs to be discussed in the context of the benefits it brings. Employees need to understand why such developments are occurring and how it will positively affect the organisation’s growth in the long term. Addressing negativity bias is also key as people are more afraid of what they have to lose, and it overcomes that which they can gain, so it makes sense to tell people what they stand to lose if they are passive in the face of certain situations.
In this respect we must also highlight the importance of communication. Often it is taken for granted that people understand the underlying issues and know what is required of them. The best change strategies underline high priority messages through consistent and timely communications that is both inspirational and practical. Communications should flow regularly from top to bottom, where leaders need to step up and ensure that all employees are in line with the organisational strategy. This underscores the importance of internal communications and the selection of adequate platforms.
In conclusion always remember that people matter. It is all too tempting to invest most of the time on plans and processes that don’t respond emotionally. Mastering people skills is paramount in the execution of a change management strategy.