INSIGHTS

Change Management: 5 Strategies to Embrace the Change

MARISA GIFT, TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

In the words of Sheryl Crow’s famous song, “A change will do you good.” Although it’s easy to say these words while singing along to a catchy tune, it’s much harder for some people to “live” change. In fact, research shows that 70% of change initiatives fail. Therefore, it’s important to consider how we as leaders can best help our team members embrace change and move forward toward a successful outcome.

We know that change in itself is not the problem. Rather, resistance to change can be a problem! It’s the same as when we fall off a bike. We typically will not break any bones from falling off a bike alone; however, it’s a different story when we put our wrist out to break the fall. Why is change so hard? Why do many people have the initial reaction to resist change?

Resisting change results from a human tendency to prefer “the known” and shy away from uncertainty. In other words, many of us are creatures of habit and prefer to stay that way. If you have some of these “creatures” on your team, here are a few tips for helping them through a change initiative:

1. Acknowledge the change:

Don’t sugarcoat the change. Be realistic and set expectations appropriately. Acknowledge that change is tough while also giving an explanation of the “bigger picture” and how the change will benefit the organization (and maybe even them!) in the long run.

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate:

Make sure people are “in the know” whenever possible. Avoid surprises and excess uncertainty whenever you can by laying out the process and timelines.

3. Ask for their two cents:

Whenever possible, ask for your team members’ input. Don’t interrupt or become defensive and be sure to follow up on the feedback you receive. At the very least, let people know their feelings and opinions have been heard by leaders who care. There’s nothing worse than asking for feedback and then ignoring it. This will damage your credibility and derail your change efforts.

4. Get them involved:

The more your team members can be part of the change, the more likely they will get “on board” and become advocates for the change they first resisted. Find roles for them that utilize their strengths and give them an opportunity to feel engaged in the change process and, more importantly, the organization as a whole.

5. Celebrate the small victories:

Change can be daunting because it often takes place over a long period of time with many steps along the way. Don’t forget to celebrate the small victories to continue the momentum and keep people excited.

 

We’ve all heard the cliché that the only constant is change. This statement has never been truer than in our world today. Give these tips a try the next time a change is revealed in your organization (or in your home!) and hopefully, your team members will join you in creating a successful outcome.  After all, a change will do us good!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.496.8800

mgift@lutz.us

LINKEDIN

MARISA GIFT + TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Marisa Gift is the Training and Development Manager at Lutz with over 15 years of experience. She helps shape the firm’s training and development strategy while also managing Lutz’s campus recruiting, orientation and mentoring programs.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Human Resources
  • Training
  • Leadership Development
  • Campus Recruiting
  • Performance
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • Association for Talent Development, Member
  • Human Resource Association of the Midlands, Member
  • Society for Human Resource Management, Member
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BA in Communication Studies & Politics, Drake University, Des Moines, IA
  • MA in Communication, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Publicity Committee
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Music Ministry
  • Drake University National Alumni Board of Directors, Past Board Member

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