Workplace change is something which needs to be managed very carefully indeed. Not doing this can easily result in low morale, low productivity and in the end, loss of profits. Sometimes it really is the small things that make all the difference.
Managers have a huge responsibility when it comes to people management and that means initiating change in a way which reduces stress and anxiety and allows employees to feel like they’re not about to hit a giant wall which is going to upset their working practices. People don’t want to sit at their office desks feeling unsure, they want to be secure and safe in their role; when it comes to the contemporary office environment, sometimes predictability is a good thing!
We’re always told what a good manager should do, but what about what a manager should avoid doing, particularly during times of change in the workplace?
Let’s check out 5 huge mistakes you need to avoid.
Mistake 1 - Not Explaining Things Properly
If you don’t give people enough information and if you don’t explain things clearly, you’re going to end up with a confused workforce. When that happens, gossip begins, things get blown out of all proportioned and then anxiety and stress find their way into proceedings.
It’s a far better idea to sit everyone down around the boardroom furniture and explain what you’re thinking about doing, as well as why you’re considering it. Then, ask for opinions and suggestions on how to do it and possibly for alternatives too. By doing that, you’re showing your employees that you value their input and when you do come to a final plan, you’re explaining everything clearly, to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
Mistake 2 - Not Understanding The Impact of Anxiety And Low Morale
Change can be worrying, especially if you fall foul of the first mistake and don’t explain things clearly. When anxiety arrives on the scene, it can easily cause morale to drop drastically.
When people are unsure, they’re unable to concentrate, office conflicts can occur, and before you know it, productivity drops too. When productivity drops, there is a direct link with lower profits, so it’s definitely worthwhile understanding this link and doing what you can to avoid it happening.
Mistake 3 - Not Reviewing Changes Regularly
Perhaps the change you have implemented isn’t working, or practice has shown that a different way could yield better results. If you’re too rigid in your approach and you don’t review things and make changes, you’re going to alienate your employees and productivity is going to drop along the way.
Set a timescale for reviewing the change perhaps a month or two, and then gather everyone around the boardroom chairs and discuss how it could be done better, and how people feel about it. After that, remember to implement your promised changes.
Mistake 4 - Not Being Available
If you simply close your office door and spend your days at your executive office desk, you’re making a big mistake. Your employees need to feel like they can approach you and discuss any problems or concerns. An open-door policy is the way to go here, meaning that employees know they can come to you if they need to and that knowledge in itself will help to relieve stress and increase morale overall.
Mistake 5 - Not Seeing The Bigger Picture
When you’re thinking about changing something, it’s easy to just see the results you want to achieve, but what about the knock-on effects? Make sure that you assess every aspect of the change and how it’s going to impact on the bigger picture. Don’t be so closed-minded that you only see what you want to see; every change has a far-reaching effect and you need to be aware of what that is.
You would be surprised how many managers fall foul of these mistakes, but by being aware them and doing your best to approach change in the workplace in the right way, you’ll notice positive effects, rather than negative ones.