Helping employees overcome their resistance to change
When you take over as a manager, there are a number of changes that you will probably need to implement. People are naturally resistant to change, especially employees that have been with an organization and different management styles for several years. Since most people are resistant to change, you can find different ways to work with them and help them overcome this problem.
Recognize the impact of change
One of the biggest problems with change is that new managers think they can swoop in and “solve” the problems of an entire department. Change is a big deal and you must consider the impact of your new ideas and how it will affect your employees. Since you know they will struggle a little bit with change, don’t make it harder on them by assuming they won’t notice or telling them that they just need to go with the flow.
Do it slowly
If you have some employees that are resistant to change, don’t overwhelm them with a big change all at once, instead you need to slowly introduce the changes you would like to bring to the organization. Slow changes will help them adapt easier and before you know it, everyone will be on board with your new ideas.
Show them the pros and cons
One of the best ways to gain the support of your employees is to show them the pros and cons of change. You want your employees to see what is happening now and how the new changes you would like to implement will improve the organization. Then you need to let them know that you have gone through all the cons of the changes. When you list a con, you also need to come up with ways to avoid it from occurring. Following this type of strategy will show your employees that you are confident and capable of doing your job and it will make it much easier for them to learn how to support and follow you.
Let them know you care
When you swoop in with new changes, it can be overwhelming to your employees. Let them know you care and that you are only trying to improve the company and their jobs. Maintain an open-door policy and encourage your employees to come and talk to you when they are feeling frustrated by the new changes. Look for ways to solve their frustrations with them as this is one of the best ways to show your employees that you are listening and you do care about what they have to say.
Focus on support instead of resistance
Since you know you will have some employees that will put up a fight, you must look for ways to encourage them to learn how to support you and your new ideas. Actively involving them in the process is one way to gain their support. Employees like to feel needed by their managers and giving them an opportunity to brainstorm and be a part of the new changes is a great way to help them learn the importance of their job. Communication is a big part of overcoming resistance to change. Talk to your employees often and make sure they are “ok” with the changes. If they aren’t, talk to them and find out what they think would make their job better. Without effective communication, a company will not last long and you wont go very far as a manager.
Change is not easy. When you show your employees that you recognize the hardships the new changes can bring, they will be able to notice your commitment to them and they will have an easier time overcoming their fears and doubts that come with change.
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