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Manage Workplace Change Positively – But Don't Patronize Employees

workplace change, communication, management

image by sheelamohan,via FreeDigiatlPhotos.net

Mastering career change is a topic that I take very seriously (my book RINGMASTER is dedicated to this challenge).

One major area of change management that doesn’t get talked about enough is when managers must communicate changes in the workplace to their employees. This can be especially challenging because most people assume you’re sugarcoating the change from the get-go. They – fairly or unfairly – think you have to “sell” them on the change, and have been given a story to pass down that they can buy.

Often this isn’t the case, and the change in the end is for the better – it just needs to be communicated that way. But what about the times when the change is NOT positive? That’s a true challenge – and one that you can’t underestimate. If your team thinks you’re patronizing them, you might not be able to overcome the damage done.

I write a lot about this topic in my book. But I also like what I read about it in this article, in which the writer sums it all up very simply:

I believe where it is impossible — or next to impossible — to spin a change as something that’s legitimately positive, it is very important to try to involve employees in creating a solution. And communications need to be real and transparent by acknowledging employees’ legitimate concerns and the fact things are going to change for the worse — at least in the short-term.
So, in short, the solution is in fact inviting your team to help you find the best solution!
Have you ever been on the other side of unwanted change? How did your employer handle it?