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Stepping Through Change

We have all experienced setbacks in life. For the first few months of the pandemic especially, there was a lot of floundering as we all tried to adjust to a world where we had to be distant from one another - and in fact we could be, thanks to the internet. Three years on, and the presence of the internet has grown even larger, enabling people to work from home more than ever before. Workspaces are farther spread out, people communicate over Microsoft Office instead of over the office water cooler, and we’ve all become different people. But things change all the time, and while significant, this is just one of many examples of change. 

Of course, not everything is different. People still have to deal with individual internet connections, power outages, and even the distractions around their home - like pets, children, and their own vices. No matter where you are, focus is the name of the game, and if an employee is already stressed from their workload, they might be feeling overwhelmed with so many other parts of their life surrounding them. Throw in a new boss or a project gone wrong, and they may begin to buckle.

There might be a temptation to place higher expectations on employees in the wake of such turbulence, but those extra duties and restrictions can have the opposite of the desired effect. An employee can flourish if they feel their superiors believe in them, and are willing to appreciate and recognize the efforts they put into their duties - especially in moments of change. If the expectations have become different in this change, it’s okay to alter the duties of an employee, but artificially raising the bar they’re expected to meet without discussion can negatively affect their performance in the long run. To help prevent that, here are four steps you can follow to help your employees get through change.

 

Demonstrate Trust

To enact change and let it ride its course, Step One is letting your employees know how much faith you have in them through the oncoming turbulence. If they don’t believe you trust them, they might resist the coming change, leading to wasted energy and friction for you both. After making sure your employees are comfortable with what’s to come, key them in on these next few steps. By keeping them in the loop, you continue to demonstrate trust in them. Keep them up to date on what you’re working to change, and they will help make your process and workday even better.

 

Plan Large, Start Small

Step Two: Start small. Big goals are important, but you can’t shoot for the moon without building your rocket! The foundation of any project is the most important piece, and you want to make sure everyone is taking the steps at the same time. But you should still take the time to clarify what your end goals are. Change is a process, not an event! To make sure you land where you want to, you have to plan out where that journey will take you. Only then can you move on to…

 

Reduce, Reuse, Reallocate

Step Three: Figure out what you can reallocate from current projects into those goals. You want to avoid overreaching your boundaries while in a precarious position - making sure that you don’t take away from what you’re already doing is a great way to future-proof your business in that regard. By integrating your employees into this process, you can have a greater number of information sources to help with this process. But don’t rely only on them.

 

Lead By Example: Invest Yourself

Step Four: The final step – and perhaps the most important – is to make sure the change is as good as it can be, by personally investing in the process. By showing up and doing the dirty work to get it done, you inspire your staff to take on the same level of responsibility and care that you’ve shown, and that’s a great way to make sure something is done, and done well.

 

By following these steps, you can enact your change well. Things have changed a lot in recent years, but it doesn’t have to have changed for the worse if we step up and do what needs to be done!

 

 

Topics: Sinikka Waugh, Change & Transition

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! contactus@yourclearnextstep.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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