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Volume 6, Issue 16

4 Strategies to Make Change Comfortable

Even the most competent employee can struggle to adapt to change at work. Addressing key concerns and fostering a community can help curb resistance to change, according to one leadership expert.

"If there's one thing we know about today's workplace, it's that it will never stop changing. In fact, some say our ability to unlearn what we know is one of the most important skills for the future of success in the workplace," writes Lea McLeod for The Muse.

When introducing new processes or tasks at work, managers should address failure upfront, encourage learning and support among employees and create a sense of community, writes McLeod.

In the article, McLeod shares four strategies to introduce change while minimizing stress for your employees:

Face failure. When making changes to tasks or processes, let your employees know that you're in "learning mode," writes McLeod. "Allow them to absorb the information, attempt to put it into practice, fail, and try again with impunity," she adds.

Encourage tutoring. Pair together members of your team with others in the organization who either held that position previously or understand the task that's introduced. Having an experienced person coach an employee who is new to the process will take the edge off of the role changes, writes McLeod.

Create learning opportunities. McLeod suggests hosting casual meetings, like "brown bag lunches," to launch a new process or work task. "It can provide support and give employees a chance to hear concerns, questions and comments from others," she adds. "They'll know they're not alone in their apprehension about trying something innovative."

Establish accountability. In addition to  partnering employees together for learning opportunities, you can set up accountability partnerships. "An accountability partner is an employee who helps another colleague keep a commitment," McLeod writes. "Research shows that using this kind of peer accountability can actually help implement new changes in the organization."

This article is from the Advancement Weekly, October 17, 2016 issue.

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