Managing change is a great challenge in a fast-paced and non-stop organization. Change seems to be affecting every industry. Given the pressures of technology, information, and people demanding more with less, change and transition has become the norm.
As a manager, you can have quite a positive impact in helping your staff succeed through chaos and change. Here are some suggestions that can help manage change.
Describe the change in as much detail as a possible. Consider who is losing what and what is changing for everybody.
Listen and acknowledge concerns, encourage people to share how they feel, give them extra attention and emotional support, empathize, and then focus on what work still needs to be done, and maintain a realistic viewpoint concerning productivity.
When coworkers are stunned by change, help them to recognize that it is normal to feel frightened, frustrated, and confused. Create some temporary processes and procedures. Provide training in problem-solving and decision-making skills. Schedule short meetings to get progress reports and celebrate successes.
Finally, be consistent: with the message, with your actions, and with rewarding people for new behaviors and taking risks.
When the industry is changing, and your organization is changing, one key to keeping people engaged is to ensure there are quick successes. Quick successes reassure the committed and convince the skeptics. Manage change by reinforcing the new beginnings. Focus on the future and encourage experiment.
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