Change is Inevitable by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Next to death and taxes one thing for sure is change. It is constant and it will continue to be part of our everyday lives. The rate of change has significantly increased in the past several decades and there is no sign of it slowing down any time soon.
People generally resist change and will often choose the comfort of things staying the same and comfortable than having to experience the anxiety of dealing with change and the unknown.
We are experiencing more change and unrest than we have in the past twenty years. We have to give up on the idea of that one day we will catch up or that things will settle down soon. It takes a lot of emotional, intellectual and physical energy to continually absorb change and often people get overloaded. When this happens, productivity and quality can often suffer. When employees burn out, it can directly affect the level of customer service and overall company morale.
Often when there is big change happening in a company the leaders work very hard and spend a lot of time and energy trying to make people feel comfortable during change. They create strategies to encourage employees to feel good about what is happening. Instead, they should be giving them the tools to move through the discomfort of change and foster attitudes that will help them thrive in the new environment. People need to be given the time and training required to adapt to change with minimal disruption to the customers.
When major change happens, leaders need to look for ways to make incremental changes whenever possible with the least amount of impact on existing resources. Managing the human side of change is critical to the success of any change initiative. By providing employees with the tools to transition through change with resiliency will go a long way to keep them positive and focused on the desired results. There needs to be a process for managing transition and change.
Tips for implementing effective change:
- There needs to be an Executive who is a sponsor for the change
- Teams of change agents need to be created (ie: communication, transition)
- The need for change has been communicated to everyone (several times and in several ways)
- The leaders clearly communicate the need for the change highlighting the direct and indirect impacts
- It must be clearly communicate who will be involved in the implementation and planning of the change
- Ongoing communication and updates as the project moves forward, as well as any modifications required