How to Get Employees to Embrace Change

Few employees jump at the chance to embrace changes to their work routine. Why is that so many of us want to cling to the status quo? Read on to learn a few simple strategies to help employees deal with new developments that threaten to alter their daily processes.
Leadership is about change, but what do you do when you’re met with a wall of resistance from those you lead? Samuel Bacharach, co-founder of the Bacharach Leadership Group has a few ideas about the subject. “In order to successfully lead change, you have to create an environment of safety for those who would support you,”

Offer Choices

A smart leader will leave some room for autonomous choices. Change can make people feel they’ve lost control over their province. Invite employees into the planning, don’t force it on them.

Assure Them They Have What it Takes

Change is fiercely resisted when it makes people feel incompetent. Recognize that people often use skepticism to hide the fact that deep down they’re worried that their skills are not up to the new requirements. If possible, run the old and new structures for a short period of overlap to ease the transition.

Keep Things Familiar

Many employees subscribe to the idea of “Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.” As a leader you must create certainty of process with clear instructions and timetables. Let people get used to the idea of change rather than springing it on them with a morning memo.

Help Employees Maintain Dignity

Those who were associated with the system being changed are likely to feel a bit defensive about it. Stave off a rebellion by acknowledging and celebrating what employees did accomplish, and by assuring them the coming change is in everyone’s best interests.