Tip #937:  Six Steps That Organizations Often Overlook During a Major Change Initiative

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”  Arnold Bennett

Managers are often so focused on maintaining production levels during a change that they overlook the emotional needs of their employees.

Employees have expectations of their role in the organization, worries about how the changes will affect them, and a finite amount of emotional energy and physical stamina to cope with the uncertainty that accompanies change.

If you want your employees to be more receptive to changes and more willing to implement them, there are six key steps you can take:

  1. Hold frequent staff meetings, even if you don’t know anything new. Your staff needs to trust that the lines of communication are open and that they are being kept up to date.

Otherwise, they will imagine worst-case scenarios, and their morale and performance will plummet.

  1. Validate staff performance and accomplishments. Provide reassurance that upcoming changes do not mean that there is something wrong with their previous work.

Otherwise, they will feel threatened and become resistant to the changes.

  1. Keep staff concerns at a low level. When changes occur, your staff needs to believe that you will give them the time, training, resources, and support they need to continue to be productive. 

Otherwise, their anxiety will adversely affect their physical health and their professional commitment.

  1. Make sure that staff know WHY the change is necessary. They need to understand the origin and goals of the change, as well as the consequences if the change is not implemented.

Otherwise, they will have no context for the change or a reason to implement it.

  1. Involve staff in planning the changes. They need to feel some control over changes that will affect them. If they cannot provide input on the change itself, ensure that they have input in how the change is implemented.

Otherwise, they will not feel committed to the change because they lack any sense of ownership or control.

  1. Celebrate with staff as each stage of the change is completed. They need to feel that you recognize and appreciate the time, energy, and commitment involved in accomplishing the changes. Change is exhausting, so it helps to celebrate the achievement of each milestone.

Otherwise, they will feel unvalued, and their energy and commitment to implementation will gradually decrease.

You want your major change initiatives to be successful. If you overlook the potential emotional fallout, it is almost certain that your staff will be less receptive to the change and less willing to implement it.

May your learning be sweet- and safe.



#changemanagement #change #laurel&associates

Related Posts

First Aid for New Trainers

Are you a new trainer? Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering how to start or what to do?

Would you like to get just-in-time answers to your pressing questions? How about a second pair of eyes and ears to give you useful feedback and validation?

If you need help, come to my weekly Zoom roundtable on Wednesdays from 3-4 pm CST, starting January 11, 2023. View the full course schedule.


Two new virtual business workshops for Spring 2023

Presentation Skills: Learn to be informative and persuasive.
8:30-4:00 pm,  4/26/2023

Register here

Six Steps to Yes: Acquire instant influence in a virtual world.
8:30 – 12:30pm, 3/28/2023

Register here


It doesn’t have to be difficult to Deal with Difficult People.

In this course you will define the behavioral characteristics and underlying needs of difficult people, assess situations in which you effectively handled a difficult person, review five steps for handling difficult people Laurel & Associates now offers courses through Teachable. Learn at your own pace.

Share This Post