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Preparing Employees for Change Management

Change, as they say, is inevitable. This is even more accurate in a business environment. Organizations around the world are becoming more comfortable operating in a constant state of change. From adjustments to process and procedures, workflows, acquisitions, and mergers, or organizational structure—this type of change is no longer a far-fetched concept. And while managers attempt to at least put an optimistic spin on the change, most of these events do come with both positive and negative elements.

Initiating change management isn’t easy, but it can be done in a constructive and thoughtful manner that softens the blow for employees. Here are our tips for preparing employees to handle upcoming change management:

Map Out the Process

Taking the time early in the project to map out the change management process is not only a great way to keep project members on track and on task, but this will also become an integral aspect of the go-forward communication to employees. Create a detailed action plan that can substitute as a step-by-step guide for the project team. The map can be adjusted slightly as you work through the process, but by the time communication reaches employees, the map should be considered a static document.


Be Clear About the Why

Employees don’t love surprises when they pertain to throwing a proverbial wrench in their everyday life. Take the time to craft open, honest messages to the staff to explain why these changes are taking place. If you’re uncertain or not comfortable discussing the change management, it may be time to slow down or take a step back to make sure that you and your leadership team are clear on why the change is being initiated in the first place. Making sure the team leading the project fully understands (and is enthusiastic about) the why will be crucial to being able to confidently speak about the change.

Include Training When Necessary

While the notion of training in a change management process may not always be necessary, it is safe to assume that most change management will involve a process adjustment or tweak that could include a training segment of some sort, regardless of the length. Employees will see the training as an opportunity to further their professional skills and fill them with confidence as the project nears the conclusion. Ideally, these training sessions will help the employee’s transition to the new process and save management time on the back end answering questions or going back over the new workflow with independent employees, instead of in a group-learning situation.

Experts at Harbor America can help your teams manage evolving areas of the business, including change management and organizational documentation updates, including the employee handbook. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you keep your employees happy and help prepare for upcoming change management.