How to Stop Change Management From Turning into Chaos

BY Kathy Crosett
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Change isn’t easy. You have to be at the top of your game to manage the details of the upcoming reduction in force or merger. No matter how careful you are about keeping things quiet, employees soon start speculating about the future of the company and their prospects. How do you manage your way through this process? Malin Teles says transparent communication is a must. Here are a couple of tips from her article on Ragan​.com.

Once you’ve made an important decision, it’s time to inform your staff members. When you call people together, don’t treat the change as a top-​down mandate. You need your key players to buy into the change you’re putting in place. Ask for their input. You may have ideas about roles specific employees could play in a changed organization. Your team members may have better suggestions. After all, they are closer to the work and to the people involved. If you listen to and take some of their advice, they’ll be more willing to continue working for the success of all.

Before you make a company-​wide announcement, speak in private to the key employees who will be most impacted by change. Are they willing to take on the tasks you envision for them? If you announce a new role for an employee without advance notice, it’s a little like springing a marriage proposal on someone in a ballpark. That person won’t want to embarrass you by turning you down. But, they may never be on board with the change you made or how you announced it.

Keep employees informed during a big change by assigning a person to provide regular updates on what’s happening. If your team members will need training as a result of the organizational change, announce when and where workshops will happen. During times of change, the more information you can offer, in an organized fashion, the more secure and committed your employees will feel.