Workplace change, whether it comes in the form of a new billing system or leadership changeover, can disrupt the flow of an office. By finding ways to help your employees adjust to shifting conditions, you can improve morale and preserve the productivity of your team.
Provide Advance Warning
Advance notice is one of the easiest ways to help your employees adjust to workplace change. As soon as possible, alert them to the upcoming office transition. Use a calm tone to avoid unnecessary upheaval, and provide as many details as you can. Expect questions from the team, and be prepared to answer them honestly. This step gives your workers time to react, process the information and then adjust their mindset, so when the change actually occurs, they can be ready. Keeping them in the loop also demonstrates trust and respect, which can help strengthen your working relationships during a time of upheaval.
Make a Plan
Once your staff is aware and accepting of workplace change, involve them in creating a solution. If the issue is localized to your department, sit down with the team and work together to lay out a plan of attack. If you're dealing with a larger problem or a situation that affects corporate leadership, figure out how your group can respond effectively. Since professional shifts often make employees feel helpless, this process can restore a comforting feeling of control.
A workplace change that requires new systems or programs can create a climate of anxiety and confusion. Dispel your employees' fears by offering adequate training to maximize their potential — bring in an expert, offer weekend seminars or employ online learning software. If it's viable, provide this education before the new process is implemented into your operations. When workers feel informed and competent, they may find it easier to adjust to changing conditions.
Offer Ongoing Support
During a period of workplace change, company leadership often finds themselves tied up in negotiations, policy changes and other administrative business. In the meantime, employees are left to their own devices. Even with training and transparency, these conditions can breed worries about job security. Prevent these fears from creating fractures in your team by offering continuous support. Check in with your employees regularly to encourage discussion and answer questions. Provide frequent updates about the status of the office transition, and express a feeling of confidence when it's truthful. When you're present and communicative, it creates a stable foundation and a feeling of security that can prevent workers from jumping ship.
Workplace change can be unsettling, but it doesn't need to come at the expense of productivity. By keeping your team in the loop and helping them prepare adequately for the changes ahead, you can maintain an atmosphere of trust and confidence throughout the transition.
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