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September 4, 2019

4 Practical Tips for Managing Change in the Workplace


One of the best traits that any leader can possess is the ability to remain flexible in the face of change in the workplace, no matter how large or small.

Here are some practical tips that you can use to make change less stressful for everyone:

1. Communicate Openly

Employees often have a hard time dealing with change in the workplace due to fear regarding its impact on their responsibilities, pay, benefits, and other important aspects to one’s career. Open – and proactive – communication can help alleviate this. Remember: Always tell employees what you know, what you don’t know, and what you’re working on figuring out. They’ll appreciate the honesty and it’ll help keep the rumor mill at bay.

2. Provide an Action Plan

Another way to help cultivate a sense of calm in the face of workplace change is to provide a clear plan to get from the current state to the future state and how the changes will take place. When people know what to expect—and when to expect it—it can reduce stress and help keep employees focused on the task at hand.

3. Celebrate the Great Work Done Under the Old System

Some managers will try so hard to “sell” the positive aspects of a new system that they completely forget to acknowledge past successes and triumphs. Doing so can leave employees feeling unappreciated and upset. Be sure to take some time to celebrate successes – big and small – from the past and going forward, in order to help engage employees in the changes to come. 

4. Listen Carefully

Chances are your employees have several concerns that have yet to be addressed, and this is true no matter how thoroughly and how often you communicate with them. Set aside part of your day to listen to their concerns and questions, and address them as openly and respectfully as possible. It’s okay if you don’t know the answer yet, let them know you are working on it and will get back to them.

How might one or two of these tips help you navigate change more effectively?

—David Grossman

Click below to download this one-page tipsheet—10 Tips for Guiding Culture Change—and get 10 tips to help set up your organization's culture change for success.

10 Tips for Guiding Culture Change Tip Sheet

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