This is Bircham Windmill – it’s beautiful, you can understand why people have fought to preserve it. But we know that beauty and heritage isn’t sufficient to meet the demands of our needs today – change is constant.
You could argue that updating technology is a piece of cake compared to getting your staff on board with the new! People don’t always respond well to change, they find it challenging and often resist it.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are immersed in a task that you are good at. You’ve spent years honing your skills and knowledge. You know you’ll do it well and that you’ll get the satisfaction of a job well done. Almost done… when Change marches in and says – in no uncertain terms –“The way you did it before doesn’t work any more.” Spend a couple of minutes thinking through the impact of this. Is it any wonder that sometimes we get frustrated and kick back?
So what can you do to make the transition as smooth as possible? If you consider these four key areas from their perspective, you will stand a better chance of winning them over. You need to think, from their point of view, what the change will mean to them in terms of their:
Each area impacts on the others – for example, if Topi* is worried whether she’ll have the competence to adapt her skills to the new regime, this is bound to affect her confidence. Old routines give us comfort – shake them up and not only does the comfort go, but also the feeling of being less in control emerges – which in turn, decreases confidence.
These are all normal responses to change, so no one should feel inadequate for having them. Accept reactions like these as part of the process – it will get better as folk come to terms with it at their own pace.
A very common mistake is to underestimate the support that people need. Sometimes we get so bogged down in making sure that processes and procedures are foolproof, we forget the impact it will have on the people involved.
I’m not saying that there needs to be hours of handholding, but being around and approachable more often, being responsive to your people’s concerns (which are, after all normal) and reassuring coupled with a consistent, repeated-in-all-kinds-of-ways message of what the change will look like will help them move to acceptance more quickly.
You can find out more in Face to Face in the Workplace
*Topi is The Other Person Involved
By Julie Cooper
Author of Face to Face in the Workplace
“If you deal with people you need this book” Buy your copy here