Whatever the area of change, you need the co-operation of your employees to make any improvement.
Resistance from employees is the biggest stumbling block to successful change. Sources of resistance include:
You are implementing change for a good reason. You should be able to sell your idea to the people affected.
Set up a thorough communication process. Rumours will develop quickly if there is a lack of information.
Talk to everyone who will be affected. Resentment will grow if people feel left out.
Address people's concerns. Spell out the implications of change for everyone.
Your biggest allies can be your cynics. Do not be put off by their style - they often know the pitfalls and difficulties. If you can persuade them, persuading other employees becomes easier.
Do not leave any doubt that the change will happen.
Any change usually creates winners and losers. One person may be made redundant, while another is promoted. Change may lead to stress, tears, resentment, accusations and so on. Professional and sensitive communication will reduce the impact this has on the business.
Jane Galbraith is the Owner of Market Route Mapping, Non Executive Director, Board & Committee Member and a Business Mentor with Scottish Chambers of Commerce. She writes and speaks about developing staff and growth in businesses.