Post-its with “to do” “doing” and “done”

15 Must Know Tips for Implementing Change in the Workplace

Company Culture
June 27, 2022
Rad time: 10min
Get Advanced Tips

Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “There is nothing permanent except change.” This rings true from personal life to workplace environments. Implementing change in the workplace typically doesn’t happen overnight, and to do so successfully, there are change strategies that are desirable to follow. 

In this article, we will answer, “What is change management” and explore change management strategies. We’ll also see how valuable it is to foster resilience and develop an agile workforce who is receptive, welcoming, and able to mentally adapt to change.

What Does Implementing Change in the Workplace Mean?       

Implementing change in the workplace can mean a lot of different things. It ultimately means that you are shifting the way business is conducted in some shape or form. 

Change can include setting up new employee practices, improving a process, or deploying new technology or equipment. It can also be something broader and more high-level like executing upon a new business strategy. 

No matter what size or scale your change may be, you’ll need buy-in from employees and stakeholders to be successful. Change management, or the systematic approach to dealing with transitions, proves to be critical. At the same time, focusing on employees’ mental fitness and mental wellbeing can make all the difference (we’ll touch on this again shortly to understand why).

What are the Benefits of Implementing Change in the Workplace?       

If there’s an opportunity in business to innovate or make something better, then that calls for change. There’s also the old adage of, “Why fix something that’s not broken?” but in some of these cases, making a change can open the door to even better outcomes. 

There are some general benefits that come along with implementing change, including:

  • Enhance collaboration in the business 
  • Improve efficiency with regard to processes 
  • Increase employee productivity 
  • Set a path to achieve business goals 
  • Create a culture that is better able to adapt to change

What are the Challenges of Implementing Change in the Workplace?       

It’s common for employees to feel afraid of change because it’s unknown. People tend to be adverse to doing things differently. But, when you’re in a workplace doing things differently, everyone needs to be aligned. Here are a few hurdles that make implementing change in the workplace challenging. 

1. Lack of Clarity 

Additional challenges may include logistical shortfalls, lack of a strategic change management plan, and the inability to reinforce the change due to ambiguity and a lack of clarity on the intended future state.

2. Insufficient Stakeholder Management

During any change, it is important to ensure that stakeholders are engaged with throughout the entire journey of change.  Failure to engage at the right time, with the right stakeholders and in the right way can lead to lack of buy in and also lack of appreciation on wider obstacles which may arise as a result of the change.

3. Lack of Compassionate Leadership

Leaders and management play a large role in impacting any change project. Their buy-in and ability to serve as a role model can provide the support and positivity needed to lead the change. 

4. Breakdown in Communication

If people aren’t fully aware of how change will affect them, what it means to the business overall, and what to expect, then they will be more likely to be afraid of the change. 

5. Employee Resistance

Resistance to change from an individual standpoint is often emotional. It could be due to fear, anxiety, anger, or any other emotion. 

Employee wellbeing platforms like LUME can be of great use when facing employee resistance because the tool is equipped with resources to strengthen people’s mental fitness (thereby allowing them to overcome challenges and embrace change by improving their ability to identify/manage emotions).

How to Implement Change in the Workplace?   

Despite the challenges of change, there are change strategies that can streamline the transition and make it possible to achieve. 

Consider the following change management examples when your organisation wants to implement change in the workplace: 

1. Identify the Change

Start by identifying the change that has to happen and why. This should include an impact assessment that forecasts or details the desired outcome of implementing the change. It will also describe who in the organisation will be most impacted (and therefore, need the most guidance, support, and staff training). 

2. Find Champions

A change champion is an employee who is excited and accepting of the change. By enlisting change champions, you can psychologically support your entire workforce. 

Many employees fear the social aspect that may accompany change, but if they can see employees like them welcoming the change, they may be more inclined to do the same.

3. Set Goals

If you didn’t have goals in mind, then you probably wouldn’t look to make the change. By defining and sharing the goals, then it makes it possible to visualise the upsides of the change. This way, more people will want to work towards the shared goal. 

4. Predict Obstacles

As mentioned, employee resistance to change can often be fear-based. The fear of the unknown and what could go wrong can trump the realistic upsides that may be gained. By anticipating challenges before getting started, you can ease the fear because you’re essentially making the unknown known. 

5. Create a Plan

With the obstacles in mind, it’s time to create a rollout plan for the change. Moving slowly and in incremental phases can help ease the negative emotions associated with change. Small shifts over time are easier to accept than one massive change in the way of doing business. 

6. Overcome Technology Challenges

With digitisation across industries, technology is commonly at the forefront of change. Consider the potential pitfalls of technology and make a plan for how to overcome them logistically. 

7. Overcome Health and Safety Issues

Similarly, health and safety should be made a priority. For example, if you are redesigning the office from one with cubicles into an open office setup, then you’ll have to consider what this means for people working in close proximity to one another. 

You may need to supply training about proper workplace etiquette and provide employees with headphones, to give an idea of the necessary considerations.

8. Support Mental Wellbeing

Since emotions play such a large role in an individual’s acceptance or resistance of change, supporting mental wellbeing and mental fitness can make or break the success of workplace change. 

A mental wellbeing tool such as LUME offers support across every aspect of mental wellbeing, including sociological, psychological, spiritual, and biological. 

The platform is equipped with pre-designed assessments and check-ins, guided learning journeys, and insights for HR and management teams to better support employees.

With the latest mental fitness tools, employees develop the skills they need to overcome adversity and challenges (which often come along with the notion of change).

9. Communicate Changes

Develop a communication strategy to outline the main message of the change, address the relevant audience, and explain clearly how their day-to-day may be affected. 

10. Provide Reasons for Change

A key aspect of the communication strategy should describe the reason and benefits of the change so that the vision is clear and expectations are known. 

11. Seek Employee Feedback

Since employees are affected by the change, their questions, comments, and concerns should be solicited. You can gain feedback with surveys, check-ins, or feedback sessions. Additionally, wellbeing platforms like LUME offer overall insights about how employees are feeling so that you can immediately identify where support may be needed. 

12. Train Management 

Middle managers and those in direct communication with employees require adequate training and management practices to initiate and monitor change on the ground. It’s vital to provide these employees with proper training to allow the change to be led by them. 

13. Post Implementation Support

As it’s important to offer support before and during the process of any change, it’s also required after the fact. Be open to gaining feedback, adjusting as necessary, and allowing employees to express their needs.

14. Monitor the Change

Make sure that the change is actually producing the intended results by keeping a close eye on the effects. This may include observation, data analysis, or feedback. You can also remain aware of how employees are feeling during the change process with employee wellbeing platforms like LUME, which provides insights and patterns regarding employees’ mood in real-time. 

15. Evaluate the Change

Determine how you’ll assess the success or failure of any change. Was the goal achieved? What has improved or suffered from the change? Is there qualitative data to back up the change?

People planning on laptop
By LinkedIn Sales Solutions from Unsplash

What are Best Practice Tips Effecting Change Implementation?       

The aforementioned change management strategies can massively affect the process and progress of change in your workplace. 

Check out these additional best practices before embarking on your next change project.

1. Create a Culture of Change in the Workplace

Develop employees to be open to change. From the recruitment process to training, employees with a strong sense of mental fitness are more likely to be open to change. They have the self-management skills and mental capacity to adjust to change.

An employee wellbeing tool like  LUME is designed primarily for this purpose. With LUME, employees have access to evidence-based knowledge to become better problem-solvers, feel supported and looked after by management and HR teams, and feel connected and aligned with the organisational goals. So, when faced with change, they can be excited rather than overwhelmed.

2. Involve Employees

Make employees part of the process because they are the ones who are going to have to operate under the new vision. Bring employees into the design phase and provide the space for them to share their concerns, how they currently work and what could be better, etc. They may end up providing a totally new opportunity to improve that you may have otherwise overlooked. 

3. Make Change Transparent

Communicate the change from point A to point B, throughout the whole process. This begins with goal-setting, goal-sharing, and leads into expressing the benefits of the change. It also involves addressing challenges in advance, rather than sugarcoating the experience. 

4. Celebrate Change Success

Take stock and slow down to celebrate the big and small wins throughout the change management process. When employees get to see the positive effects of change and share in celebrating them, they’ll be excited about the next time a change takes place.

Final Thoughts

We all know change is inevitable, but the ways in which people deal with changes varies. When implementing change in the workplace, it can be greatly affected by employees’ mental wellbeing and mental fitness. 

With mental fitness comes resilience, adaptability, and grit. A focus on developing employees’ mental fitness can serve as the key to unlock their truest potential and foster a company culture of employees who are willing to take on change. 

Looking for tools and techniques that can strengthen your employees’ mental fitness and deepen the connection between their emotions and behaviors? See what a tool like LUME can do by booking a demo!

Share this post

Related articles

Book a Demo

To find out how LUME can help your organisation to better understand and support the mental health of your employees, just fill in the form and we’ll be in touch.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.