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Employsure’s Guide to Introducing Change.

Published October 11, 2016 (last updated June 30, 2023) - Ben Fairfax

Change is inevitable through these ever evolving times, especially for businesses who wish to remain at the forefront of their industry. However, not all staff members are going to be open to change, some may even balk at the challenge.

Even the best employees can feel intimidated when faced with a change. It can be uncomfortable, require new ways of thinking and may even cause anxiety and uncertainty.

Employers should not expect to implement large changes without facing some form of resistance. So how do you as an employer effectively introduce change into your workplace?

Invite your team’s opinion

Major decisions that affect your staff should be communicated as early as possible. Employees who feel involved in the decisions from the get go are more likely to be receptive to the change. As you begin making plans, hold team meetings, strategy days, ask for feedback or talk to your team one on one. This way they understand what the proposed change is, why it is occurring and their associated roles and responsibilities.

Keep the lines of communication open

Confusion can run riot in the early stages of change. Therefore, it is very important your employees feel they can come to you with any questions or concerns. Employees may need to be trained in new policies and procedures, so if this is the case, ensure you brief your employees so they do not experience stress or confusion.

Walk the walk

Employers should always lead by example. Employees look to their manager for guidance, meaning if you are not adhering to your policies and procedures, realistically you cannot expect your employees to do so. Employers need to ensure they are across all facets of the change, and can lead by example. Employers should also take care to acknowledge any employees who successfully master the change.

Monitor the change

If you are not monitoring the change, employees may be tempted to slip back into old habits. Employers should monitor adherence to the change and check in with their employees on a regular basis. This can be done either through team meetings, one on one sessions or by implementing a reporting structure.

Employsure can advise on all matters relating to change management, and your obligations as an employer, so contact us today on 0800 675 700.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small and medium businesses, with over 5,500 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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