By: Nathan Sykes
As part of today’s changing technological landscape, it is vital to create a workplace culture that adapts to those changes. Doing so starts with having a comfortable workplace culture to begin with. Making your employees feel at ease in their current working conditions is the basis of creating a workplace that can adapt to changes.
Change is an inevitable part of the workplace no matter what industry you’re in. To make these changes simple to implement, companies need to address employee concerns. Many employees thrive on adaption and continuous learning, while others like to stick to the old tried and true policies and routines that they’ve been using for years. Savvy managers ensure all employees are happy when keeping up with changes in the workplace.
Your workplace can follow these five ways to embrace change in the workplace, while ensuring zero employees get left behind.
1. Seek Feedback and Employee Engagement
Seeking employee feedback is one way to show employees they are valued and their opinions and comfort are your priority. Asking for feedback is also a way of showing transparency in the company, which is crucial to maintaining a strong workplace culture despite potential changes.
Another way to encourage employee engagement is to adapt to changes that result in more job satisfaction. This may include managing a mobile workforce. Today, one of the major workplace trends is working remotely or telecommuting, which some people prefer rather than coming into the office every day.
Ask each employee their preferences — maybe some will opt to work remotely, but others would rather work from the office.
Don’t just approach change from a management perspective, but from the employee’s perspective. When it comes to employee concerns, smart leaders talk less and listen more.
The 2021 Crowdsourced Innovation Report covers faster implementation rates, more engaged leaders, firmer budgets, and a focus on transformational change. Download the best practices and benchmarks in the full report here.
2. Recognize All Reactions to Change
Not every employee responds to change in the same way. Therefore, it is important to address all the ways employees react to change. The best approach is to address all reactions with the same amount of concern. As mentioned earlier, some employees will respond well to change, while others will require a slower transitional period.
It’s never too late to embrace change, either. For example, one of the oldest insurers in Canada recently decided to take a more proactive approach to digital literacy and employee engagement.
Regardless of the size or age of the company, all employees should understand the need for change to remain competitive in the ever-changing technological and business world.
3. Lead Employees by Example
Introducing a new technology or strategy to a workplace might be scary to employees who have become accustomed to using the same equipment and processes since they started working. Executives and managing staff should lead by example. They must be open to change to show employees it can be a lot easier than they think.
If employees see company leadership frustrated and hesitant about change, they will follow that example. While it is easy for executives to get stuck in their ways and believe the technology and processes the company was founded on will always be the best option, everyone should remain open-minded.
4. Maintain a Sense of Community
As changes occur at work, managers should maintain a culture where employees know they are welcome. When changes take over the workplace, remind longer-tenured employees that they are part of the team and that they are still a necessary component in making that team work.
Part of maintaining a sense of community is ensuring employees know the company values and believe in them. If there is a two-way street of trust between employees and their managers, it creates a good foundation for embracing change.
You can also maintain a sense of community by rewarding employees for trying, even if they fail. Mistakes and failure are inevitable when companies implement change. The only way to make employees feel safe with trying new things is to embrace their mistakes. If employees are afraid to fail, they will be very hesitant to try new ways of doing things.
5. Train Employees Appropriately
While creating a basis for change is imperative, managers should be prepared to appropriately train employees to prepare for transition. Start by addressing employees’ fears and encouraging them to participate fully in every aspect of the process.
Employees must be prepared to adapt as new technologies are constantly being introduced. Training acceptance is one of the most vital lessons to give employees.
Why Workplaces Should Create an Adaptable Culture
Companies must establish a workplace culture that accepts and embraces change. Train employees to be comfortable with and accept change, as well. By ensuring employees are comfortable with failing and by giving feedback on workplace changes, you can create a more tolerant culture.
By Nathan Sykes
Nathan Sykes is the founder of Finding an Outlet, where he covers business and technology.