A Change is Coming
With the new year upon us, many of us have evaluated 2017 and are shifting focus toward 2018, probably with some goals in mind: eat healthier, exercise more, quit a bad habit, spend more time with family or focus on your own wellbeing.
Change is a very personal thing at any time in ones life. It’s also one thing you can count on.
Whether it’s unexpected or self-induced, we all have our own ways of dealing with change… and as we get older, we get better at it.
Now, throw change into a pool with multiple people and different approaches to dealing with change. It can be a nightmare managing the ‘people’ side of change.
Another aspect of change is structural; it will eventually become necessary for an organization to evolve and remain relevant in their market; however, companies will not see the rewards of long-term structural transformation without planning for the human aspect.
Here is a ‘Top 5’ list, if you will. A guideline to help you navigate upcoming (and inevitable) change in 2018:
- Are you ready? A realistic evaluation of your ability to handle change is imperative. How big is the change? Is it a gradual change or something more immediate? How many people (and who) will be effected? Do you have the capacity to handle any resistance that will come with the change?
- Start at the top. In times of organizational change, employees look to the leadership team for direction and support. They are aligned and committed to the direction of change, understand the culture and behaviours the changes intend to introduce, and can model those changes themselves.
- Create ownership. Change requires more than passive agreement that the direction of change is acceptable. It demands ownership by leaders willing to accept responsibility for making change happen in all of the areas they influence. Yes, buy-in is important; however, ownership and accountability will create an environment of people who truly believe in the change, and trust those implementing it.
- Communicate, regularly. Far too often we make the mistake of believing others understand the need to change and see the new direction as we do. Good change management incorporates regular and timely updates. Information is planned and provided at the right time and in a way to obtain input and feedback from all levels. Information is digested differently and at different paces by each individual employee. While it may seem like you are over communicating, this is typically not the case.
- Don’t forget about culture. Many times with structural change, leaders forget about the potential impact it can have on internal culture. A thorough assessment can help bring major problems to the surface, identify conflicts and define factors of leadership and resistance. This analysis can help identify the core values, behaviours and perceptions that must be taken into account for successful change to occur.
As previously stated, change is a very personal thing. People spend many hours each week at work and many think of their coworkers as a second family. They need to know how their work will change and what is expected of them during and after the change. People will react to what they see around them and need to be ‘in the know’ during the change process.
However change comes to you personally or professionally in the new year, we believe a few helpful hints and tactics can help.
The team at Helium look forward to the new year with you, and wish you wellbeing and continued success in 2018.
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