The world is changing faster than ever. But one thing has never changed: people don’t like change! Change causes stress.
- It can make them feel like they are losing control
- It can threaten to remove comfort zones.
- It can leave them feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
If you want to successfully lead individuals or organizations through change you need to know that people do not process change all at once. They do it in stages.
And if you understand those stages you can better gauge your organization’s attitude. You will also have leverage to increase buy-in, and to ensure a smoother transition.
There is a difference between the change event and the time leading up to it and following it.
Change is the objective event that occurs at a particular point or over a period of time.
- It might be a new policy or reporting structure.
- Or it could involve launching a new product or service.
The change event is generally what everyone in the organization focuses on. And that is where organizations can get into trouble.
In the Managing Change workshop I explain that in addition to the change event there are critical adjustment stages through which most people pass before they fully buy-in to organizational change. And as a manager, you need to know what those stages are. This is critical, because as Mark Sandborn says, “Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.”
5 Ways to Reduce Stress Through Organizational Change
Organizational change is a leading cause of stress in employees. Here are five practical steps that managers can take to make the process easier.
- Awareness – recognize that when change occurs, you will encounter an emotional reaction. Understanding that this is common will help you to be more objective.
- Support – surround yourself with people who care about you and your success. Tap into resources in your community, work, and relationships that can assist you in moving forward.
- Purpose and perspective –Take time to explore what is truly important to you, and put the change into perspective.
- Esteem – Realize that change can cause you to doubt yourself. Hold onto your self esteem, do things that will bring you a positive outlook and use positive affirmations and self talk.
- Control – Focus on what you can control and know what you cannot control.
Change is an Unavoidable Reality
Whether you are talking about a new vision, boss, product, policy, opportunity, or organizational structure, change is happening. Most of these changes need the buy-in and loyalty of large numbers of employees whose commitment is necessary for successful implementation.
Without their participation, planned changes can easily derail resulting in low morale, reduction in productivity, lost opportunities, and disappointment due to unmet expectations, not to mention waste of time and revenue.
Change Management Strategies
As a leader you need to know how to:
- Define and understand the external situational and internal psychological elements of change
- Move the organization through the four critical stages of change (preparation, planning, process, implementation)
- Navigate resistance to change
- Build confidence in preparation for change
- Communicate effectively the need for the change and the process to make it happen
- Celebrate milestones in the change process
To find out more about the MANAGING CHANGE workshop email firstname.lastname@example.org