I recently read an article looking at mindfulness and how it can help people cope with change. The article listed some excellent points, including the importance of information regarding change.
Essentially, if people do not have enough information, or what they perceive as enough information, they are less likely to accept the change being presented. This can present a challenge for managers and change agents, particularly if there is a perception that information is being withheld.
However, there are ways to avoid this perception and help ensure people accept change in the workplace.
Strategy 1: Share information in a timely manner.
While it seems obvious, the act of sharing information can be often be forgotten or delayed until the ‘optimal time’. Where possible, do not install lengthy delays between information becoming available and being shared with an appropriate audience. The last thing you want is for information to become office hearsay before you can share it appropriately.
Strategy 2: Set expectations and don’t over promise.
Sometimes people believe they should be among the first informed of changes, however the truth is the exact opposite. In these situations, be sure to set expectations early. Be firm but fair regarding how and when information will be shared. Also, during this time be sure not to promise more than you can reasonably expect to deliver, as failing to live up to your own standards can only damage not only your reputation, but your relationships with those who feel let down.
Strategy 3: Avoid being vague.
Be clear about the changes that are coming. By doing this, you reduce the opportunity for misinterpretation and keep everyone on the same page. Misinterpretation, at its worst, has the potential to lead to unhappy staff as they may begin to feel the communication process is unclear or insufficient.
In most change scenarios, adhering to the above points is not an easy task. Challenges aside, keeping these points in mind can be worthwhile when dealing with change in the workplace.
Until next time,
For those interested, you can read the full article on mindfulness and change here. (Note: requires a subscription to HR Daily.)