Help Employees With Change

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We feel the hardwood lumber business is an industry used to change. Employees generally are good with adapting to change.

help employees with changeWhether that is changes in market conditions, species availability, schedules, or changes in job responsibilities, most of the time we find a way to succeed.  But for the last few years, it seems the pace of change has been faster and hard to accept for some. So when helping our employees adapt and thrive to a changing landscape we find these type of things helpful.

Understand their why. Much of employee resistance to change comes from simply not understanding the realities behind it. Change often suggests (in the minds of your workforce) the possibility of loss. That could be a loss of comfort, a  loss control or even something else. Their resistance may stem from a lack of trust due to past negative experiences. The better you understand your employees’ mindset, the more effectively you can help them reduce or eliminate their fears.

Always be communicating. There’s no better formula for overcoming resistance to change than through ongoing, transparent, and helpful communications. Your efforts should begin early, well before the anticipated change initiative, and then throughout the process.

“An explanation of why the change is needed is always a good idea,” notes Paycor. Clarifying “what’s in it for me?” enables employees to “see the big picture and the benefits of the change, instead of only giving them a narrow view of what is to happen in the near future.”

Focus on empathy. You and your executive team are duty-bound to drive the change that needs implementation, so you can keep pace with competitors and changes in the industry.

But that shouldn’t prevent you from empathizing with your employees, who often lack a sense of the big picture, and who may have legitimate reasons for resisting change. A willingness to engage with team members and to express your understanding of how they feel can be a big step towards people eventually accepting what needs to be done.

Share W.I.I.F.M. What’s W.I.I.F.M? It stands for “what’s in it for me.” To help employees understand the change to come, also help them understand what it means for them. Explain to them the benefits for their position and for the company which will also benefit them in some way. Once they see the value, it is likely they will be less resistant to support the changes coming.

Seek employee feedback. The seeds of resistance are planted whenever change occurs without any context, or with little to no input from employees. By contrast, engaging with your team members early in the change process can work wonders. Any changes that originate directly out of employee feedback are often very welcomed by team members.

Finally, look for opportunities to praise those team members that possess a positive outlook on change for any specific change-related efforts (at all-staff meetings, during individual performance reviews, etc.) they provide . Invite these “change champions” to help their co-workers adapt as well. The work of a few such individuals can sharply reduce opposition to change and keep your business moving forward.

Do you have ideas on helping employees access change? Let us know!

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber Co.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






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