When your workplace goes through significant or multiple changes, it is important that employers think about their employees, especially how they feel.
For some employees, change is exciting. Employees may feel very upbeat and positive about what is going to unfold and can clearly see the opportunities. For others, it can be daunting. So much so, it can cause anxiety, stress and a negative frame of mind. When it comes to supporting employees during change you can follow these four steps:
- Communicate to your employees
Naturally, your employees with have lots of questions. They will want to know about the nature of the changes, how it affects them and why it is happening.
There may be times when you simply don’t have all the answers or are unable to divulge the information, but it is important to keep them in the loop as much as possible. Make sure to hold meetings, send out bulletins or include relevant information in your monthly or quarterly newsletters.
This can help stop rumours, gossip and speculation running rife. There is a danger that people will just fill in the blanks themselves, which may be widely off the mark and cause negativity with no good reason.
- Don’t make false promises
One of the main ways to lose employee’s trust to make promises you can’t actually keep, so don’t say that nobody’s jobs is at threat if this may actually occur!
- Listen to your employees
You should provide your employees with plenty of opportunities to vent their fears and concerns.
You can have frequent one-to-ones and hold team meetings. Perhaps you can open intranet forums or send out an employee opinion questionnaire.
By trying to understand what is at the root of their doubts, you can think about how you can allay their concerns and manage any negative reactions.
- Show strong leadership
In time of uncertainty, your employees will need clear direction from senior management. Make sure that you don’t hide behind emails, but are visible and accessible.
Our Employment Law Advisers can help you when dealing with change in your organisation. You always need to think about whether what you want to implement raises any legal obligations, for example, consulting with employees may be a legal requirement, for example, you need to consult with employees when dealing with redundancies. Get in touch to find out how we can support you.