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Managing change

Workplace change is usually motivated by either a need to adapt, for example to meet new regulatory requirements, to weather the economic climate, or by a proactive vision to evolve and improve.

External challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic can have a dramatic impact on a business, resulting in the need to make changes to your business model, such as restructuring or introducing new technology and processes, all of which will have an impact on your employees.

We often see clients diving right into implementing workplace change when, all of a sudden, the “change management” conversation crops up as an afterthought with inadequate planning.

Factoring change management in too late can cause:

  • a rough transition

  • a lack of advocacy

  • a vague “change” vision

  • overall resistance

  • workplace conflict, and

  • decreased sustainability of the change required

There is also the risk of claims and penalties against the employer. Before you dive into any hiring or firing of staff, always review your employment obligations!

Regardless of the type of workplace change, having an effective change management strategy not only helps employees adapt, but it can also create stronger bonds between you and your employees by ‘taking them on the journey with you’.

Here are 4 key strategies for managing workplace change:

1. Create a “Change Impact Statement” - This will be an important resource for decision-making and communications throughout the process.

2. Communication & Consultation - It is important to consult your key stakeholders by listening to their feelings and ideas, and identifying any personal impact. You also need a good communication plan to supports the change process. This builds trust and will help your staff adapt.

3. Support - The impact of workplace change on the mental health of your employees cannot be underestimated. It's important to make a range of support options available to your staff, such as a contact officer or Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

4. Review - Done well, reviews and self-assessments of your change management strategy will promote continuous improvement of your processes and culture.

WorkPlacePLUS can help you implement a thoughtful change management strategy.

We also offer a training and development program for leaders called MANAGING WORKPLACE CHANGE, which delivers a practical understanding of the change management process, including how to design, implement and review a change management strategy. In this program, participants will explore the changing landscape of "COVID normal" working life and how to address the current issues faced by today's managers and supervisors.

For more information, please contact us today.

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