Managing Change

Change Management Training

Managing change can be one of the toughest things for anyone to deal with. In business, change management is something that must be dealt with prior to big company changes if you hope for a smooth transition.

Change management is one of those managerial skills that is usually overlooked. But in a well run business, change should be happening frequently. Stagnant companies rarely last for very long. Whatever is changing in your company, follow these steps to minimize the stress that naturally comes with uncertainty.

Begin by discussing the upcoming changes with the leaders of the organization. Effective change management begins with those that influence others. This may be managers, supervisors, or leads. It may also be people that have been around for years, and whose peers listen to.

Discuss with them the positive aspects of change. Many people fear change for no reason other than that it is change. You need to logically explain to people why your changes will positively impact them, and get them excited about the upcoming changes. They, in turn, will spread that excitement and positivity around their sphere of influence.

Make clear to your team that, although things may be changing, very seldom is everything set in stone. Flexibility will likely be required as new systems are put in place, or old systems fail. Everyone’s input will be necessary to keep the business running during a potentially stressful time.

Once you have mentally prepared your employees for the upcoming changes, begin implementing the changes. Don’t spend too much time on preparation or the excitement will wear off and people begin seeing the negatives again.

Make sure your ‘change agents’ are properly trained. Send them home with some change management books, or consider offering change management training. The importance of training and development is as crucial for good managers as it is for the employees in their day-to-day work.

Realize that their will be resistance to change. That is only natural. Most people do not naturally see the positive side of change. Things may in fact get worse before they improve. The complainer in your group will pounce on this issue right away. Address these difficult employees as soon as possible and explain to them that the problems will only go away if they are brought out and fixed as they occur.

If you can find someone to champion the changes, the entire process can happen much more smoothly. A cheerleader who can keep people positive during difficult times is worth their weight in gold. If you don’t have someone like that, guess what? That means its you! Managing change begins with you, so start selling change to your team!