When employees are asked to change to help the business meet future challenges, they go through a change curve: denial, resistance, exploration and then commitment.
To help people along, you need to:
- paint the big picture – the rationale for the change;
- let people know you understand that change is stressful (but be wary of saying “I know what you’re going through” – you don’t);
- be honest – discuss the challenges associated with the change;
- allow people to express concerns and listen and respond in an empathetic yet positive way;
- acknowledge losses – of people, sites, ways of working;
- in time, encourage dialogue about the benefits to help nudge along those still resisting; and
- celebrate little wins along the way – and the ultimate delivery of the change.