Most organizations, at one time or another, will encounter some sort of big change. This could be an organizational restructuring, a shakeup in leadership, or a facility renovation. Regardless of the specifics, the familiar and comfortable process is shifting, and you need to make the transition as seamless as possible. The goal here is to keep company morale high, and make sure that your team feels confident in the new structure so that they can effectively continue with their work.
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind along the way.
Like most situations, the very best thing that you should do is keep open communication. You do not want to “surprise” your team with the announcement of a big change that is already underway. Instead, give employees more of a heads-up so that they do not feel blindsided by the change, and can instead feel like part of the decision-making process. Remember that communication is a two-way street, you should be explaining things to your employees but also listening to their verbal and nonverbal cues.
Act on Employee Feedback
It is one thing to listen to your employees’ concerns or grievances – both those that are said and those that you are able to discern through their actions. However, if your team is going to effectively work through a big structural change, you need to prove that you also willing to “walk the walk.” This means that you should seek to fix the things that are within your control. If you recognize an issue that is outside of your control, do not make false promises. Instead, let your team know what is possible and what is not.
Allow a “Settling In” Period
Big changes should not happen overnight. Your employees need to know what they can expect this “transitional period” to look like, particularly in terms of procedures and expectations. You should also communicate what the “final period” will look like, which you and your team are ultimately working toward. Use this intermediate time to train your staff on any new skills that they might need. It is critical that they have the resources available that will allow them to effectively adjust to this new change and their new role. Doing so also communicates that they have been considered and are seen as valuable members of the organization.