The times change, and so do the needs of an organization. Any business must keep up with the times and replace outdated and unproductive practices with new ones designed to bring more value. In the absence of openness during the transition to what’s new, there is a risk to fall behind, lose connection with the present and isolate the organization in a less visible corner of the market where it operates. Sure, we could say that traditional values will always be appreciated, as there will always be clients who prefer classical methods of work. However, when we have the example of an adaptable and profitable competition, when we see successfully trends emerging, can we still stand against the change flow?
The answer is "no", because the management and leaders of an organization will always know to evaluate the inherent benefits that the power of change brings, but they will also have to deal with a major issue – employees’ attitude towards what’s new. Thus, whether we are talking about introducing a new software for employees, optimizing business processes or launching a new sales strategy, the management of a company will know that the real challenge lies in the ability to help employees adapt to these novelties. The mere initiative of implementing new things will prove to be in vain if employees do not understand why certain changes take place and if they will be reluctant to them.
How to Eliminate Employees’ Reluctance to Change
The important decisions within a company should not be simply taken during management meetings, privately discussed, and communicated to the staff only afterward. It would be better to schedule discussions and surveys among employees since the moment when you begin to plan the implementation of a new direction, to see what their opinion is. Eventually, if you notice a negative trend regarding the intention of implementing a new strategy, you can adjust it on the way, to make it easier to assimilate by a larger number of employees. Changes can cause confusion, fear, misunderstandings, and the lack of an efficient communication could amplify these negative aspects.
Usually, when announcing changes at an organizational level, you could encounter reluctance among senior employees, while others will make negative forecasts, especially if they have seen, throughout their career, failed attempts to move to another level. Meanwhile, other employees will refuse everything that’s new, from the fear of going out of their comfort zone, while others could worry that changes could mean a higher amount of work for them. Also, there is the possibility that some employees would declare themselves open to changes, but they will prove to be the last ones adapting to new directions in the organization when it comes to putting things into practice.
Progress Assessment and the Power of Example
Changes should start from leaders, and their model needs to be promoted within the company as one that deserves to be followed. Otherwise, employees will wonder, most likely, if it’s worth striving to adapt to new directions within the organization if the leadership do nothing in this regard. Leaders who don’t support their initiatives and words with actions will end up losing their teams’ confidence. The idea of change must be accompanied by an active participation of the management in implementing updates, to show the entire organization the commitment for the common welfare and progress.
As expected, managers will need to see results as quickly as possible, but it always takes time for employees to get used to new working methods, latest business directions or recently implemented strategy. Major changes do not occur from one day to another, without a transition period, accompanied by training sessions, updated documentation, individual or team meetings. Finally, when the goal is obtaining significant results, it is recommended to establish metrics for progress assessment since the very beginning. Thus, every step in a company’s evolution will be to communicate and celebrate success with the employees, because it is a collective achievement.
BIA HR TEAM