Are your employees allergic to change?
How allergic are your employees to making change? General wisdom says that one in five people have no allergic reaction because they like change, one in five are violently allergic or resistant, and the remaining three in five have only moderate allergies and can be persuaded if given a good reason and time to adjust.
I think of myself as being in that first group who likes to change, especially when in relates to my work. My husband, on the other hand, has a pretty strong allergy, even though he can be persuaded in a lot of things.
For managers, knowing just how allergic you and your employees are to change is important. It impacts how you lead your employees when there are changes to the team, in processes, or in the work environment.
Like allergies, change is usually disruptive. When you have an allergic reaction, you must take steps that are out of your routine and your comfort zone. We are living in a time of nearly constant change, which is difficult for even the one in five who like change. The remaining four in five are reacting to this change culture increasing levels of unhealthy stress.
As a manager, communication is key to successful change management. There are three communication points that will help your employees manage stress. (1) Talk about the positive benefits the change will bring. (2) Tell them that change is coming as soon as you can so that they will have adequate time to adjust. (3) Work to remove the fear of the unknown by giving as much information as you can about how the change will occur.Be sure that you aren’t asking employees to make change simply for the sake of change. Make change only if it will improve productivity, culture, or team cohesion. Don’t “shake things up” just because it is the new year or because, perhaps, you as the manager like change.
If change is forced on you and your team from above, it is important for you to come to terms with the change in a positive way so that you can then communicate to your employees. If employees sense that you don’t agree with the change, it will make it even harder to get them on board.
Change is a challenge every manager has to be ready to deal with. That’s why we work with managers understand how to get the best possible result when change happens.