Change is hard. But what may be even harder is managing that change. Managers face a slew of complaints, concerns, and more when changes are implemented. However, it doesn't need to be a nightmare. Here's my secret to addressing the top complaints you'll hear when change is coming and how to avoid headaches down the road.
1. But that's the way we've always done it!
Lord, this complaint is one of my biggest pet peeves. Change is a good thing- otherwise women wouldn't have the right to vote, alcohol would still be illegal, and your cell phone wouldn't exist! While I certainly don't advocate change simply for change's own sake, it's important to grow and develop to avoid becoming obsolete. When met with this objection, I like to make sure that I'm being completely transparent about why the change is taking place. Many employees may not normally be given the reason for change- they're just told that change is happening, end of story. By explaining the reasoning, you allow them to become invested in the change and see the benefits, especially ways that the change will benefit them as employees. Now, some employees will dig their heels in just for the sake of being contrary. However, for most reasonable employees, if the change is soundly based in logic, simply explaining why can be enough to dispel this objection.
2. We don't have time for that
Often, implementing change involves a workload that's higher than normal. However, any good project manager will have a plan in place to address this. Determine what projects or tasks may need to be pushed back to accommodate this. Get feedback from your team members so that you can make them feel valued and get a realistic understanding of how the change will affect their workload. Consider bringing in a temp during the transitional period. Then, communicate this all to your team upfront.
3. We tried that before and it didn't work
For long-time employees, this can be a common and reasonable concern. If they've seen time wasted on an initiative in the past, why why it be any different this time? This is why its important that prior to implement change you look at the history of the organization and get feedback from employees. If its been a failed attempt in the past, why did it fail? What are you going to do that's different? Then, communicate this to your staff up front.
Seeing a theme here? The best way to avoid objection and push back is clear and early communicate. By gathering feedback from your staff, they feel invested in the success of the project. Addressing their objections up front allows you to both get their buy in and address any roadblocks that you may have not anticipated.
Now, go forth and make that change happen!
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