Take a quick look around your office or home and you realize that life is changing at a faster rate than ever before. Consider all the electronic devices that have become integral to our lives. Phone, tablet, computer – they’ve all changed. Many people are on phone plans now that enable a new phone every year! Plus, you may have a digital reader – perhaps even more than one!
The way we use our devices has changed too. We have apps on our phones instead of software on our computer. And many of us store our data and applications in the cloud.
Our work environment is also increasingly affected by change. Organizations change, our managers come and go and our responsibilities get shifted. We may wish that everything would stay stable for a while, but the truth is, we live in a world where change is constant.
If that’s true, how do we manage change? How do we keep some semblance of control within our work environment? First, we need to be capable of change. And secondly, we need to meet the challenge by staying effective and productive.
Working our way through change. Change happens quickly. There are no longer plateaus of stability. Instead, most of us experience a continual, never-ending series of changes. So how can you manage these changes that are ever present? Here are some of the guidelines we can use to address major change.
Start by being honest with yourself and your co-workers – more change lies ahead! In truth, most people reject change – so our job is to change the mindset of those around us. It helps to build trust with employees. One way to do that is to solicit input when considering change. Once you engage others, you have partners.
A certain amount of stress is good for us because it makes us grow and learn. Change always brings opportunity. The trick is to inspire others by empowering them. Engaging people in the change usually results in a higher adoption rate. Change is often the basis for new opportunities.
In facilitating the change process, we need to understand that everyone’s job now is to succeed in unfamiliar environments. That might mean a new job direction, new skills or new behaviors. Showing others how to have real conversations about important issues will build trust. How do we need to change in order to address the challenges we’re having?
Make sure that the right problems are being solved. If the change is going to be effective and create the desired result, we need to make sure we’re looking at the right problem.
Change has to come from the top down. Everyone has to be effectively engaged in the change process. People must be part of the change process – they must invest in the change and contribute to its success. The process of involving everyone may mean more conversations, planned workshops, regular meetings and constant communication. But planned well, change that involves everyone is more likely to “stick” and be effective.
Communicate and support. The individuals and teams leading the change process must be supported through coaching, education and facilitation. Communication has to be active and planned. A healthy sense of urgency is good, but being rushed will build distrust.
To succeed today, businesses need to think of their workplace as one of continuous movement. The more agile we are, the more likely we will act on opportunities and grow.
Do you need help facilitating change in your organization? We’d love to work with you. Visit our website at www.baharconsulting.com, or give us a call at 240-242-3349.