Help Your Employees Embrace Change

by | Apr 25, 2023 | Podcast

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In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, I share why people are change resistant and what you can do to help your employees embrace change.

It’s a misconception to think of change as an event. For your team, it’s a psychological experience that evokes a wide range of feelings, from fear to inspiration. If you look at it this way, you can take steps to make it less emotionally disruptive. Change is a natural part of life, and it’s no different in the workplace. But let’s face it; not everyone is excited about the idea of change, and many people are hesitant or even resistant to change in the workplace. To help their employees embrace change, leaders must understand why their team members resist change and know how to address it.

Why are people afraid of change?

  • Fear of the unknown: When people don’t know what’s going to happen or how a change will affect their job, it can be scary. They may worry that they won’t be able to perform their duties or that their job will become obsolete.
  • Comfort with status quo: People may have gotten used to the current system and may not see the need for change. Why change if the present method is working well enough?
  • Loss of control: People get frustrated and resentful when they feel that they have little control over the changes and that their input doesn’t matter.
  • Fear of failure: People may worry that the change will not work out as planned and that they will be held responsible for any adverse consequences.
  • Lack of communication: No one likes being in the dark or the last to know; if leaders aren’t communicating frequently, their employees will be more resistant to change.

Despite these challenges, change can be positive and necessary for growth and progress. In fact, if a company isn’t changing and evolving, it will be left behind in this rapidly changing world. So if you want to be an impactful leader, you need to help your employees embrace change.

Here are a few tips:

Communicate openly and effectively: Be transparent about the reasons for the change and how it will affect the company and its employees. Listen to employees’ concerns and address them proactively.

Provide training and resources: Employees may need new skills or tools to adapt to the change. Provide training and resources to help employees develop the necessary skills and adapt to the new way of working.

Involve employees in the process: When employees feel like they have a say in the change process, they are more likely to be invested in the outcome. Involve employees in decision-making, gather feedback and ideas, and encourage participation in the change process.

Lead by example: Model the behavior you want to see in your employees. Your employees are more likely to follow suit if you are positive and enthusiastic about the change.

Celebrate progress and success: Celebrate the milestones and successes achieved along the way. Frequent acknowledgment of wins helps to reinforce the benefits of the change and creates a sense of momentum and excitement.

Change can be difficult, but it’s a necessary part of growth and progress in the workplace. By taking the right approach, leaders can help employees embrace change and create a positive work environment.

Question of the week

This week’s question comes from a student I am mentoring who is considering multiple job opportunities upon graduation this spring. He asked me, “Kerry, how should I evaluate these opportunities? How do I know which is best, and what are the most critical criteria for choosing?

My answer is to choose the one with the best manager who cares about your growth, well-being and career development, especially for your first job. Listen in to hear more!

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