Each of us is unique and reacts to change differently. There’s no telling how someone will react to a situation. For example, a few years ago, I made plans with a friend to eat at an Italian restaurant we like only to discover a sign announcing it had closed permanently. I hadn’t read anything on their website or the news but recall feeling sick about not getting to eat there one last time. I remember my friend not caring nearly as much as me. The same type of feelings come with organizational change management (OCM), although there’s more you can do to prepare. Here are a few tips I can share.

1. Set Expectations

Organizational change tends to be larger in scale, internal, and with a tight deadline. These factors, along with others, create stress among the masses. That’s why it’s important for leadership to provide a clear vision of how this change will affect the entire organization as well as the specific benefits that will come as a result. Honesty plays an important role in whether the news is good or bad, helping to set the expectation for what lies ahead.

2. Remain Consistent

Consistency is key. Stakeholders appreciate being informed and being able to plan accordingly. Structured email communication, informational documentation, and various pieces of training are good support ideas. Webinars and interactive meetings are also crucial when physical meetings aren’t possible.

3. Gather Feedback 

After the change takes place, solicit feedback. Obtaining honest feedback opens up the communication channel for everyone and forms inclusion. Contribution helps as well, and all of us feel good when our ideas are included in improvements.

It’s important to recognize those who lead the way through organizational change and make the most when faced with adversity. Not enough credit is given to those who do, especially in cases where there is strong opposition. Regardless, change at the highest-level is inevitable, and adapting quickly is key. With a positive mindset and the right preparation, you can be successful.

Of course, there is so much more to OCM; these are just a few tips from my experience. Every organization does it differently, but general concepts can be applied anywhere. I think remaining open-minded and collaborative goes a long way during times of change. Remember that no change is painless, but there is plenty you can to do to prepare for it.