Change Management

January 4, 2019

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.

Addressing Change

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.

September 19, 2017

Ch-ch-changes (David Bowie)

“Turn and face the strange” as David Bowie sings in his song “Changes”. Now a days, change is the norm – so how do we deal with it – especially if you don’t agree with it? One of the “old school” answers would be to “suck it up and deal with it”, but there are better solutions to dealing with change. Be seen as a leader that can exhibit these traits and you will have a team that follows you!Hand holding the word change

  • Give it some time – change grows on us and sometimes our perspective changes if we have time to think about it
  • Ask for more information – NOT questioning the change – explain upfront WHY you are asking for the info
    • understand it so you can explain it to others.
    • understand the why so that you can feel ownership
  • Do NOT assume anything – a dangerous position. Some questions to ask yourself*
    • What assumptions am I making abut myself?
    • What assumptions am I making about others?
    • What am I assuming from the past that may not be true now?
    • What am I assuming about what’s impossible – or what is possible?
  • Recognize the source of your concern
  • Once you understand the change, influence the outcome if possible
  • Implement the change

    * from Change Your Questions Change Your Life by Marilee Adams

May 2, 2017

Change is coming. Three ways to be ready.

Change is just around the corner, just through the door, almost just with the next breath you take.  Everything is changing all the time because we don’t live in a static world.  

As a manager, your job is to help employees deal with change. That is easier with some than others.  In fact, research shows us that 35-40% of the U.S. population has a High S, or Steadiness, factor using the DISC assessment. These are the folks who are slow to accept change, and then only if there is a good reason to change.

To make your change effort successful, don’t forget the following three keys:

  1. Arm Yourself. Ensure that you identify potential concerns and questions. Then have clear, easily understood answers for those concerns, along with bottom-line pro and con information to share with everyone.
  2. Ally with the Adopters. Make the early adopters your partners in the change effort. There are always people who are ready and willing to support your change effort.  It’s up to you to identify them and enlist them as champions.
  3. Prepare the Resisters. People who are uncomfortable with change need your attention. You need to plan your change effort so that you give them the time and space they need, along with a great reason that demonstrates both the need for the change as well as the “what’s in it for me?” explanation.

At DaltonDupes, we help managers and leaders understand and make change in a way that helps employees engage in the change process.  Call if we can help you.

January 26, 2016

The Impact of Change Done Wrong

I was just reading about the “bloodbath” that happened this week at Staples.  Given the press release that went out, and was referred to in the Fortune article, I’m guessing a lot of folks got surprised with those pink slips. And those who remain employed are most likely demoralized and shaking today.

I’m not on the inside at Staples, so I don’t know how this change was managed.  But comments in that article indicate it wasn’t managed very well.

DISC_stylesWhat do we know about how change impacts employees?  For starters, let’s talk about people’s behavior styles related to change.  We know that roughly 32% of the U.S. population doesn’t like change one bit. That’s about 1/3 of the workforce!  Those are the folks we talk about as having a High S, or a high Steadiness factor. These folks need a lot of preparation to be able to successfully cope with change. Doesn’t sound like they got that in this case!

Then you add in the 13% who are High C’s and are all about Compliance. They are going to worry about the impacts the change is going to make — whether they got pink slips or not.  These folks do not like risk, and when such major events happen, their risk radar shoots off the chart.

That’s 45% of the workforce that needs prep time for change. They need time to absorb what it means, whether it is good for them, and to assure themselves that they are not dealing with change for change’s sake.

Then let’s consider the 38% who are High I’s (Influence). While these folks may not necessarily notice change (unless it directly impacts them), their top emotion is trust.  So a sudden change like Staples made will have dramatically impacted this group and their connection to the company because they will consider that their trust has been violated.

That leaves 17% of the workforce, the High D’s (Dominance). These are your lovers of change. They may well be responsible for the lack of communication because their concern is to get it done now. They are high risk-takers and are willing to roll the dice in these (actually, most) situations.

With only 17% on board with change, good change management is essential. It requires open and transparent communication, opportunities for feedback, and giving everyone affected time to buy in.

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