Businesses experience, job-site rules and safety precautions change every day. Some changes are minor and easy to make, but others are significant and life-altering for workers. And while more adaptable workers may simply need a quick mental adjustment to embrace new changes on the job, others may feel overwhelmed if they have trouble letting go of the old ways of doing things. Finding the right way to implement and monitor changes can mean the difference between a smooth transition or a daily struggle in your busy schedule. Here are five ways to make changes easier in your workplace.
1. Explain the change precisely.
It might be tempting to tell workers about a change and ask them to pivot immediately toward a new objective. But it’s much more effective to describe why the change is occurring to get them on-board with the reasoning behind it. Use open communication and make sure that the “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How” is clear to all affected workers so they don’t feel confused or left out of the loop from the beginning. For example, you might use local regulations and health statistics to support new social distancing guidelines for workers and workstations. It helps to explain the why and lets them know the changes are for their safety.
2. Use training sessions to build worker's skillset.
Hold training sessions to go over new responsibilities, new regulations, or other company changes. If the topic is specific to your business, you can create your own presentations. If you’re implementing standard regulations or guidelines, you may be able to use ready-made safety reminder videos or training presentations.
3. Set up avenues for definite success!
Unfamiliar guidelines, like the new regulations we’re all implementing to stay open in the pandemic, may make it difficult for workers to embrace change. Use the Power of Empowerment to get them invested. Organize small meetings to provide updates, encourage communication, and show how much progress they’ve made toward new goals. Create well-communicated department and company milestones so employees understand any new roles and how they can contribute toward future goals. Recognizing workers for their hard work is a great way to boost morale and keep their minds focused.
4. Listen to worker's concerns and suggestions.
Be mindful of workers if they tell you they’re struggling with any workplace changes. They may feel overwhelmed when changes like social distancing and wearing face masks mean things don’t look anything like they did a few months ago. Be empathetic and compassionate during feedback meetings so you can work through distress together. Create smaller meetings or one-on-one time so more introverted workers can speak up too.
5. Implement rewards programs for following new protocols.
Provide rewards and incentives for following new rules. It gives workers even more reason to embrace changes and makes your job easier. Reward employees both for achieving milestones and for taking on new changes with a positive attitude while meeting their existing goals and tasks. They can serve as a shining example for the rest of your workforce!
An evolving workplace is almost always a source of stress for you and your workers. But if you create and execute a well-thought-out plan to get everyone on board, you can come out the other side with workers who feel heard, appreciated, and on board for productivity and safety.