Change is one of the inevitabilities of life. Whether in your personal or professional life, how you deal with changes will dictate the future outcomes.
In the workplace, change is not necessarily good or bad. In the face of difficult adversities, sometimes, good things can happen and some leaders reveal their true characters. And conversely, good intentioned measures can backfire and lead to disasters.
To say that the modern workplace has undergone massive changes is one big understatement. Compared to the workplace of the 1960s or 1970s, today’s workplace has become more complex.
These changes have been largely driven by organisations seeking for ways to become more competitive as well as the introduction of new technologies.
In turn, these have led to shifts in perspectives, especially those related to job skills, the use of analytics, wages and benefits, educational requirements, and the role of women in the workplace.
Why people resist change
It can be as simple as moving people from one team to another or as complex as introducing new systems in the workplace. One thing is for certain: When you introduce changes in the workplace, you have to expect some form of resistance.
Fears about job security
In the workplace, enforcing changes that result in a change in status creates fears among the affected personnel regarding their job security.
Lack of rewards
Before implementing changes, managers should put a reward system into place. Otherwise, when employees do not see the benefits, they will resist changes or put in lackluster work.
Fear of the unknown
When employees are caught by surprise by changes, they become fearful and resort to speculation. Furthermore, the element of surprise can create a sense of mistrust between managers and their employees.
Fear of failure
Resistance, especially among your top performers, can arise when they think that changes can undermine their performance. Introducing unknown elements can cause worries about being unable to adapt to new systems.
Sometimes, it is not necessarily the changes you are planning to implement that your employees resist. If you force these changes at a wrong time, your employees will think that you are insensitive or tone deaf.
Turning challenges into opportunities
Great leaders see opportunities in challenges. When top management plans to implement changes in the workplace, you can use this as an opportunity to create a high performing team that delivers success.
How do you do that?
Create a shared vision
As you shepherd your team toward new goals, it is important that you create a vision that should be shared, understood, and clearly communicated to all team members. Ideally, this vision should be clear, highly focused, feasible, and something that everyone can get behind.
In high performing teams, leadership is not centralized. Rather, all team members, including the leaders, pitch in their talents and skills and share responsibilities. In turn, this increases the accountability of each team member and fosters an environment of clear and transparent communication.
Invest in learning and development
In can be difficult for team members to adapt to change when they are deprived of opportunities to learn and hone new skills which change often requires. Improvement of your team’s knowledge and skills will not only prepare them better for changes, this can also boost their confidence and sense of being a team member. When resources allow it, you might even want to consider investing in development coaching.
Provide a platform for feedback
High performance teams differentiate themselves from their peers by tweaking their work based on performance evaluations, incoming reviews and data. Encourage team members to provide their inputs regarding ways for everyone to improve their performance.
In the face of change, high performance teams lead the charge instead of simply being swept by the current. Now, where does your team belong? In the front lines or way behind?