Change is hard.
As humans, we’re wired to want routines and resist change. In fact, there’s a biological component called inertia that explains human’s resistance to change. We are built to avoid being uncomfortable and heading into the unknown.
But we all know that change is what helps us grow. It morphs us into better leaders, improves our work, and helps us achieve our goals.
Yet change is anything but easy. Especially if you’re the one leading the charge and trying to generate buy-in across a team.
Use these change management tips to tackle every change in a positive way. These tips will ensure all parties feel understood, heard, and involved throughout the process.
Start with the Why
It’s always best to start with the why when executing any type of change. Whether it’s as simple as changing a step in a process or as complex as adopting new software, people need to know why the change is happening in order to positively embrace it.
Be as transparent as possible without overwhelming people with details. Consider using your organization’s source of truth, such as Confluence, as a one-stop-shop for sharing the necessary info with anyone who needs it. Keep your updates clear and concise, and try to stick to a regular timeline for updates.
Starting with the why also ensures your change is understood well into the future. Noting the who, what, when, and why behind the change allows anyone to quickly and easily comprehend why the change was needed and how it happened. On a recent episode of Ripple Effect, Mike Barnes explained the importance of keeping notes on changes:
When it comes to creating change, especially drastic change, people want to feel involved in the process. Ask for feedback to help people feel like they have a voice and are part of the decision making process.
But there is a fine line to walk. You don’t want to ask for feedback too often, because it may result in fatigue and not garner great results. There are also certain things you may not want or need feedback on. If you ask for too little feedback, people may feel removed from the process or like they’re in the dark.
It’s best to identify a few key areas to ask for feedback on. If you can, ask for feedback at different points throughout the process. Always ask for feedback at the end to ensure you’re able to make improvements for next time.
Related: Using Online Surveys to Gather Feedback
Take it One Step at a Time
Whether you’re trying to complete a digital transformation or simply adjusting a system or process, it’s important to take your time throughout the process.
Rushing into a change or working on an unrealistic timeline can cause extra stress, miscommunication, and errors. This is especially true if you skip important steps, such as auditing or quality assurance.
Change takes time, and it can’t happen overnight. Allow yourself the time to properly plan, prepare, and communicate to ensure whatever change you’re making is done well.
When leading any type of group through a large change, it’s important to have empathy. It may not be very easy for some people to change. Go into the project or process with an open mind and always assume positive intention.
If someone seems to be struggling, or they come off overly negative, try pulling them aside for a private conversation. This may change the tides on their behavior and help you better understand their issues or reservations. Showing a bit of empathy and understanding can help win over those who may be more change-resistant.
Tackling Change Management
Change doesn’t have to be scary or feel overwhelming. If you take the time to properly plan, communicate, and involve those around you, your changes will be implemented smoothly. By following the tips above, you can better guide people through change and ensure the process is as streamlined as possible.
Want more tips on how to handle change and lead people? Listen to our Ripple Effect podcast episode Overcoming Common Challenges now to hear how Mike Barnes of GOLFNOW helps lead teams through large changes.