January 13, 2010

Introducing And Managing Workplace Change

Change is a fact of life. Managing change brings challenges for even the most experienced of managers, yet it’s how it’s handled that can shape a career.

How we take on board the changes that are expected of us when we manage others, can have a significant impact on the way that our people react to them.

By investing time in getting and keeping close to our employees makes a huge difference in how they view us, so what we do with changing situations can be made much easier if we help them understand that we have our job to do and sometimes, just sometimes, that involves introducing changes that are challenging.

Getting them on board the train you are driving is a very smart tactic to adopt, so that there will be a coherency in approach with everyone pulling together as far as possible.

Often, where the bonds between you are very good, there will be an appreciation of the way you handle difficult change and even a support back for you from those affected, where they understand how difficult the experience is for you as well.

Working on those regular interactions with as many of your people as possible is worth it, to help with managing change – one of the many benefits of the investment in being with your people on a regular basis, day-in, day-out throughout your time working together.

It can be tempting for managers who have difficult changes to bring about, to pass the buck upwards to avoid any personal links to the actions being undertaken.

“I don’t agree with it, but…” is a lame effort to shirk responsibility and get off the hook. Where you do this, it’s likely that you will make matters much worse.

Your people will disrespect you for it. Your bosses will come to appreciate your lack of support and for you personally, there will be a gap in how your own actions have not been authentic within the positions for which you are being paid.

The key to progress is to have the great relationships with your people pre-formed; be open and honest about the changes that are coming about; and then to involve as many of the people for whom change will have an impact, in working on ways to make the change work for the benefit of them too.

Generating their ideas and input with refocus any energy they might have to oppose change and often, so often, they will come up with much better solutions to smooth the change through than you might have on your own.

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Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Developing Your People, Focus on Results by Martin

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