The change process is a disruptive process to any organization. A crucial part of finding success with any change is getting team buy-in. No leader can ultimately dictate change and be successful in completing the implementation. The process will need to be inclusive of all those people impacted. Employees will have many questions about what is next. It is incumbent on the leader to answer them to each employee’s satisfaction. The team members must trust the leaders and the process. Here are five questions employees might have about the change process and tips for how to effectively answer them.
- Why the change?
Employees want to know the purpose of any change process. They will want to evaluate what it means to them and the organization. Team member’s future is invested in the organizations and their positions.
Answer: Create a problem statement and purpose statement for the change process. Being very clear and confident that the change needs to occur. Share and take input from all team members on the problem and purpose statement. Be prepared for team members to go through the steps of the change process.
- Why now?
Team members want to understand what has triggered the need for the change. Most of them are comfortable with the way things are now, even if they’re not going well.
Answer: The problem statement should answer this concern. The team will look to the leader to answer this multiple times to trust that it is true. They will look for a consistent and confident answer.
- Is this just another management thing?
Employees have seen change before, and it is often focused on them, and management is not committed to it and will not participate in the process other than leading it. When this happens in organizations multiple times, team members will not engage until they see the leaders accountable for the process. They see it as the flavor of the month, and they know it will just pass whether they participate or not
Answer: Modeling the change you want to see is the only way to get the team members to engage. Identifying early implementers to the change will also help. Identification should be made at the beginning of the process. These team members can help the leaders model the new behaviors. Understand that resistance is part of the process and must be worked through on an individual basis.
- What result are you looking for?
The organization’s employees need to know the vision that the change is going to create. This includes what the organization and their jobs will look like what the process is completed. Having and creating enthusiasm around d the vision will increase the desire for team members to be included.
Answer: Create an elevator speech for the change process. Make sure all the leaders in the organization are on the same page and use it often. Always leave every conversation you have as a leader with team members by connecting that conversation to the vision you are trying to achieve with the change process.
- What’s in it for me?
Most employees will not ask this one directly, but they are all thinking about it. Since change is a very personal process, the team members must have the answer to this question at the beginning of the process. They will need the response reinforced until the process is completed.
Answer: Identify all of those who are impacted by the proposed change. Identify how they will be affected. Ask them how they see themselves being involved. Help them understand how they will feel when the process has been completed successfully. Create a feeling of success before the process starts. Change is emotional; attaching a positive emotion to the process will increase buy-in and reduce fear.
Answering these five questions before you move forward with the process will go a long way to get team members behind the change process and getting them to trust those who are leading it. It may seem daunting to personalize the chef process, but it is worth the effort. Taking the time to buy in will pay off now and all the future change activities you need to implement. In today’s workplace, change is a constant. Having your team prepared for and comfortable with it will become one of any organization’s most significant assets.