Help Your Employees Deal with Organizational Change

By Harvard Business Review
December 18, 2018

Many workers don’t understand why changes are happening, so they resist. These four concepts are key to helping leaders through the process.

Employees around the world are reporting that big organizational changes are affecting their jobs, but many of them don’t understand why these changes are happening. And when employees don’t understand why changes are happening, it can result in resistance or pushback.

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Here are four aspects that are key to helping employees understand change:

Inspire people by presenting a compelling vision for the future: During times of uncertainty, people experiencing change want a clear view of the path ahead. Share what you know — including what’s changing, when and how — and develop a narrative that clearly articulates the “big picture”: why change is important and how it will positively affect the organization.

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Keep employees informed by providing regular communications: Change communications is never a one-and-done event; keeping employees informed is something that you will have to do throughout every step of the change process. When thinking about how to communicate, make sure that your messages tie back to the narrative that you developed. Focus on what you know, and be candid about what you don’t.

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Empower leaders and supervisors to lead through change: Leaders not only need to be equipped with information and resources; they need to feel confident leading through change. Help your managers understand the fundamentals of change, including how to be an effective leader during times of change and how to address roadblock.

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Find creative ways to involve employees in the change: When planning for major change events, it is important to solicit feedback and engage people in the process. This helps build ownership in the change, and makes employees more likely to support change and even champion it.

Copyright 2018 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

Topics: Management

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