As a business grows, there comes a time when executives realize old methods just don’t work anymore. An organizational change is in order, but making these types of transitions isn’t easy. Employees tend to resist change and often assume the worst. Here are four ways to help them adjust to a new business model or company structure:
Share Business Priorities
How important is this change to your business, and how does it relate to other company goals? Executives have clear answers to these questions, and it’s vital they communicate these views to employees. One study by McKinsey found businesses that explained their reasons for change and new priorities to employees of all levels reached 143 percent of their expected returns. Meanwhile, those that did not make priorities clear to anyone other than the executive and management teams only saw 35 percent of what they expected.
You should announce the changes during an in-person meeting, not an impersonal channel like a companywide email. You can then further share your company’s new priorities with goal-setting software everyone in your organization can access. This allows employees to reassess their objectives and key results so they relate to the business’s new goals.
Listen to Employee Concerns
This is one of the simplest steps to help employees adapt to a major change. All you have to do is organize town hall meetings or collect feedback anonymously.
It will take more than one conversation to help staff members accept a new business model, so be prepared to have multiple discussions. Your employees will have more questions as time goes on and the start date for changes approaches, and they need to know you’re willing to hear them out. Have managers follow up on any concerns an individual raises during their one-on-one check-in sessions.
Work as a Team
Writing for Fortune, Sarah Watson, chief strategy officer for advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, suggested business leaders create new company objectives with their employees as opposed to mandating things themselves. Now that you’ve collected their concerns, you should use this information to revise your transition plans.
It’s hard for employees to see their accomplishments when they’re in the middle of a major company changeover. Because of the additional expectations and stress, they can be quick to complain that the new structure is ineffective. Make sure they have tools like goal-setting software so they can clearly see the progress they’ve made towards their OKRs. As Jeffrey Brickman, president and CEO of Central Main Healthcare, explained for Harvard Business Review, tracking metrics like OKR progress and employee engagement helps everyone keep their individual perceptions from clouding their experience of the business’s transition as a whole.