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If you’re a consistent reader of the blog, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been blogging about change a lot lately. And there’s good reason for this: whether you’re a CEO of a Fortune 500 country or a new grad desperate to find a job, understanding how to manage the unexpected changes that come your organization’s way – and actually creating change yourself – is universally essential.

We’ll continue to look at all the of the different angles of professional change, and today I’d like to point you to a good article about how a company manager should handle change within their team.

The article does a great job of talking about the importance of positive energy and clearly communicating. But I would add that it takes several forms of communication in order for the employee to understand that change is on the way. You can’t just wait until a change happens (like team structure shifts, role changes, downsizing, etc.) and then shock them with the news.  Set it up and prepare your staff on the change that will be coming even six months from now. While you can’t always predict how fast the change needs to go into effect, the sooner you can get it out there, the better. Make sure they understand all of the whens and whys of the change happening.

Change is hard for everyone – but that is exactly why getting your staff ready for the change is critical. Doing so will cut down the drama, confusion and frustration!

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Kathryn Teague says:

    Change is inevitable in organizations. Whether a person is leaving the company, joining the company, departmental re-alignments occur, change can be difficult for some, if not most employees.

    I have found a few conditions and activities to be important for making change more palliative, if not down-right exciting. (I, for one, enjoy change, so it is almost always exciting for me unless the reasons and the outcomes are less than beneficial.)

    First of all, help others by acknowledging the change, that it is real, and that it is OK to feel less than happy. I like to say, “It is OK to get upset, to bang your fist on the table and say you don’t like it, but then get over it and move on!” This message let’s others know that you understand this may not be something they want to do. It may free a few to tell you exactly what is on their minds, which leads to point # 2:

    Keep in close contact with those most affected by they changes. You might be surprised to find out they have misunderstood or misinterpreted what the change is all about. These opportunities to clarify and validate the emotions employees are experiencing will open the doors to find out what kinds of issues they are facing so that you can eliminate bottlenecks and address objections.

    Finally, “accentuate the positive,” as the old song goes and be sure to THANK EVERYONE for any steps they take to contribute and remain a part of the team. Keep them moving with you and the organization and offer positive feedback and kudos as frequently as you can.

    I agree entirely that the sooner you can prepare employees for the changes that are coming the better off everyone is. Unfortunately, we seem to be culturally driven not to impart information until the deeds are done.