Organizational restructuring, economic cycles, competition, new technologies and communication struggles are a few of the ways in which organizations can find themselves facing uncertainty.
Change is inevitable, but when a company experiences dramatic changes in a short amount of time, people start to get nervous. Regardless of the reason for the change, even if it’s positive, employees start to wonder what effect the change will have on the company, and ultimately on their role within the organization.
How can corporate leadership help employees navigate change?
Communicate the Change
Without clear understanding of what the change may be, employees often fear the worst. When faced with uncertainty, rumors start to circulate and in many cases, are worse than the actual changes that may be occurring. By practicing transparency and communicating in a clear, honest manner, it can help to assuage any anxiety employees may be having.
One of the most unsettling parts about facing change is the lack of control over what is happening. Encourage employees to take initiative in finding new solutions, cost savings or other creative solutions to areas affected by the changes. Instead of fixating on what they can’t control, give employees the freedom to find solutions for the things they can control.
One of the most effective tools to help a company navigate organizational change is corporate training. Hiring a company with experience guiding teams through periods of change can be instrumental in successfully moving through the uncertainty and emerging stronger. What can a training company offer?
1. Vision for the Future
It is essential that employees are given a new, updated vision for the future that takes into account the recent changes. Has the company directive changed? Will there be new leadership structures in place? What effect with the changes have on the employee’s daily routine? All of these questions can be cause for anxiety and can all be addressed through company-wide training.
2. New Processes
If the changes will include new or updated process and procedures, training programs are essential to ensure that everyone is introduced to the new methods. By getting everyone ‘on the same page’, it can help reassure employees that the company is moving forward and help them head in the right direction.
Training will help employees prepare for new roles in the company, adapt to the new ways of doing things and learn the ‘new normal’.
3. Realignment with Corporate Goals
Despite management’s best efforts, employees often worry that changes are ‘the beginning of the end’ for an organization. Training programs can reinforce the message from leadership that the company is planning for the future.
Allowing employees to clearly connect the changes to the overall corporate goals can help the transition go smoothly. Further, it will enable the leadership to communicate how adapting to the changes will help in reaching corporate goals.
4. Reinforce Confidence in Leadership
Training programs are effective in helping employees learn new skills and processes, understanding the effect of changes on the organization and preparing employees for new directions. All of these facets of training are important.
Fundamentally, however, one of the biggest advantages to offering corporate training to employees is the implied message that it gives. Leaders who express concern and care for their employees are considered trustworthy and empathetic. Training implies a level of confidence in the future of the company and communicates to the employees that the organization is moving forward.
Inherently, this can help to reinforce the employees’ confidence in the leadership of the company and help them to be positive about the new direction of the organization. Allowing employees to buy-in to the revised organization will increase the company’s level of success and reduce the transition time for the changes.
Are you facing changes in your organization? Instituting training programs can reduce the impact of the change while preparing the company for future success. Contact My Big Idea® today to find out how we can help you navigate uncertainty with confidence.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.