Change management is a collective term for all approaches to prepare, support and help individuals, teams and organizations in making organizational change.
Change management skills are a skill set that we often see conflicting in leadership teams. Many of us are uncomfortable with change. And leaders are not immune to this discomfort. They can find it challenging to support their teams through the implementation phase. Implementing phase such as new policies, new technology, new health plans … examples that can cause a lot of stress for everyone.
The reality is change means something different to each of us. It can result in poor health, confusion, distrust, overall upset and often times is a direct result of miscommunicating the change. Taking an open and honest approach can alleviate employee turnover. Understanding what your team members needs are for effective change management is critical.
It often surprises me when leaders share that they often implement new policies without input from their team. More often than not the changes are implemented with little to no input, catching employees off guard. Even when change may in fact be good – the lack of communication often leads to a negative ripple effect throughout a workplace.
I encourage employers to create a working committee when change is being discussed at management levels. Particularly change that will impact your workforce. Get input from those front line workers who will be most impacted by the changes. Consider the input, let people have a voice. More often than not you will gain support among that team for the implementation phase of change management. You get more when you include people instead of just telling them.
Three key take-aways:
- Before you implement change think about how you can best manage change.
- Check in with your team – ask how the company is doing in managing change and learn how to improve the experience for everyone.
- Be open to learn – you need to be open to change as much as you expect from your teams!