We often hear that the most difficult part of updating your process is change management, and not knowing how to successfully manage change can prevent companies from implementing a much needed process improvement that will ensure that your organization stays competitive. By nature, people hate change, so how do you get your employees to buy-in and embrace it? Here are some quick tips on how to overcome negativity when implementing a change:
1. Get employee buy-in
Many times, employees are resistant to change because they are frustrated that they have not been involved in the process. Turn possible adversaries into advocates by including your employees in the discussion. You can do this by having:
- A system for employee input – You can do this many different ways; by creating an employee survey, holding townhall meetings, creating an online portal for comments, etc. If you have these systems in place, highly engaged employees will use them.
- Open communication – Explain your reasons for the change; why it is necessary, what risks are involved, and any foreseen benefits. Then actively communicate these reasons throughout implementation to prevent a disconnect between management and employees.
2. Capitalize on employee knowledge
Make continuous improvement a part of your company culture by capitalizing on your employees’ intelligence and knowledge. You can do this by having:
A formal internal information system- This internal system will be a quick way for employees to easily access company-wide information. Whatever specific tools you choose to use, make sure you include employees in the decision before implementation, so they will actually utilize the tools available to them.
- Strategies for sharing business knowledge – You should influence cultural shifts by stimulating the free flow of information around business processes. One idea is to setup virtual meeting spaces where employees can share thoughts and ideas as they arise, and have a system for reviewing the material discussed in these meetings.
By educating your employees on how to use the new information system, you will eliminate resistance based on fear and the inability to use the new system. This will push them toward becoming a first person player, a leader during the change. You can do this by having:
- External training programs – Bring in external experts on the subject matter to train your employees on the new process initially. From this, a few internal employees will emerge as knowledge leaders so you can begin creating internal training programs. Another great option for an external training program includes e-learning platforms that provide more scheduling flexibility - and no excuses for non-participation!
- Internal training programs – Begin training employees as generalists and from there, employees will naturally develop more specialized roles. Then you can begin creating internal training programs that are led by your employees that have mastered specific areas of focus. Other internal training options include task assignment – what better way to learn than by doing!
Remind your employees that more automation does not mean a loss of jobs – it means more time to help customers than ever before which will improve your company value.
Now that you understand how to overcome the negativity associated with change management, your next step is to discover which of your processes need improvement. Join us for the upcoming Process Improvement at the Speed of Business webinar to get more information that can help you take the necessary steps to ensure the continued growth and success of your organization.