Thinking about significant changes to your organization can be daunting. As a manager or decision-maker, you know how many moving parts go toward making change stick. But as you consider ways for better managing organizational change, don’t forget about your employees. For change to succeed, your team members need to be on board with the process. At netlogx, we call this creating “buy-in.” In brief, creating buy-in means ensuring your employees see the benefits of change and are willing and excited to make the change happen. Communicating with team members and answering their questions goes a long way to creating the elusive buy-in. So, let’s start thinking about common questions and how you might answer them.
What Is Organizational Change?
First, it can be helpful to define organizational change for your team members. Organizational change refers to any significant change that will impact your business or nonprofit. This change could be something as contained as a new process or something as wide-reaching as creating a new employee hierarchy. Whatever the case for your organization, it can be helpful to define organizational change management for your team, so they know what to expect as the change becomes more relevant to their daily work.
Does This Change My Day-to-Day?
Most employees aren’t concerned with overarching change as much as they’re worried about what it means for them. They often want (and need!) to know how the changes will affect their day-to-day responsibilities. It’s good practice to be straightforward with how their schedule might change. Be communicative about additional meetings or new responsibilities right away. Letting your team know what you expect reduces confusion and encourages them to buy into the process.
How Will This Affect My Team?
Some employees, especially team leads, will likely ask how organizational change will affect their entire team. Before announcing a major change, it may be beneficial to create a guide for how each team will manage change. This is especially important if teams are getting rearranged or given new responsibilities. While we’re all concerned for our own job security and well-being, team members also want to know that their peers will weather the change just as smoothly. When your staff knows that everyone is considered and valued, they’re more likely to react efficiently and effectively.
What Happens If Something Goes Wrong?
Reassure your employees that project managers have thought through potential risks and have plans to counteract any issues that may arise. Risk management is a big part of management consulting, and it’s helpful to imagine potential problems and come up with a list of possible solutions and work-arounds. When your team knows you have a contingency plan, they’re more likely to trust the process. The fear of failure is always present during organizational change. Employees want to feel reassured that there’s a plan in place if something goes wrong. Let your team know that you’ve taken approaches to risk management and already anticipated some issues that might arise. Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and everyone likes to feel secure in the face of potential problems.
Will Other Processes Change?
Organizational change rarely affects just one aspect of a process. Employees will probably be curious about what else will be impacted by a new process or approach. Again, you should be transparent with them about which changes are up next. If you’re clear about plans for future process changes, employees may be more likely to buy into current organizational changes. If you’re not yet sure what other processes might change, let your team know that you’re currently focusing on making this new process work, and other processes will be evaluated as necessary.
How Will You Keep Me Updated?
More than anything, people just want to be informed. Oftentimes, they’re not upset about the change, they’re upset about the way the change was communicated. Change communication is nuanced and may look different from team to team. In general, you should plan for in-person or Zoom meetings to discuss the change. Once you’ve met virtually or in person, send a written run-down of the changing processes. While having these important matters in writing is helpful, you don’t want to blindside your team with an email and nothing else. Ensure your employees know your door is always open for questions, suggestions, and concerns. Let them know of updates as soon as you can, and show them you’re committed to a transparent process. In some situations, sharing your change management plan may be necessary to convince more people to buy in.
netlogx Is Glad to Be Your Guide
No matter how significant the organizational change is, netlogx can help guide you through it. Our management consulting professionals have worked with countless clients, working with them to understand better change communication and create employee buy-in. Just like your team members have questions, you might have questions, too. Get in touch with our consultants today to get your questions answered, and change started on the right foot.