One of the hardest parts of implementing new changes in the workplace is that employees will go through a period of resistance. Once the resistance has subsided, a period of acceptance will flourish. Along with employees accepting the changes, managers will accept the criticism that has come from workers. It’s also during this time that managers will take into account any new ideas that employees have. Furthermore, accountability should be upheld across all levels, including lower-level and senior-level workers. Here’s a closer look at each stage.
Employees don’t like change, especially if they are accustomed to doing things a certain way for several years. Many of them fail to realize that change is part of growth. Along with growth comes the ability to provide new services and offer new products. It can also lead to higher-paying positions for employees, but they fail to see this benefit of implementing new changes. It is your role as a manager to point out these benefits.
Still yet, you are going to have employees who voice a lot of criticism. They aren’t going to want to see new changes take place, and they most certainly aren’t going to want it to impact their regular work routines in any way. You must accept their criticism for what it is. But you must also be strong enough to stand against the criticism and move forward with the changes.
There is a major benefit of hearing criticism that comes from your workers. Some of the things they say very well may make a lot of sense. And by assessing their criticism, you will be able to see if new routes need to be taken to deploy the new changes. For example: Bob is very upset about his department having to switch to an all-electronic format of communicating with the finance department. All changes so far have only been communicated via weekly in-person meetings. Bob says if all communications are going to take place electronically, then he doesn’t understand why he can’t currently correspond with all departments via an electronic format.
Bob’s criticism of the new changes is actually very legitimate. Using his criticism, leaders can alter their current deployment process and add in electronic communications via all departments. This actually improves the entire change process and provides a better transition into the change for all employees.
Everyone plays a part when a new change is being implemented. Before the change is ever put into place, a list should be created that outlines all employees’ responsibilities toward the change. This list can be used to ensure everyone is being held accountable for the parts they play. Responsibilities relating to the change are going to differ from one level of employees to the next. Also, they will likely differ from one department to the next.
Managers and supervisors will, of course, have more responsibilities than lower-level workers. Performing assessments on each department will help determine if everyone is doing their part. It will also play a large role in determining where additional training is provided to better accept the new change. The key to upholding accountability is to ensure EVERYONE is being held accountable. This means someone needs to be tasked with holding managers and supervisors accountable, and that person will need someone to hold him or her accountable. There can’t be a top to the chain of accountability. It has to be a looping chain to ensure everyone is doing their part.
Familiarizing yourself with the various parts of the change process will help you better deploy the changes. Most importantly, it will ensure changes are implemented in a manner that the safety culture of the workforce is optimized.