Five Steps to Reducing Fear of Change at Work

change at work

Change is the one constant of the business world, and change in any world is often accompanied by the effects of fear. How can you ease the minds of your employees by ensuring them that change at work is for the better? Simple: let them be a part of it.

Keep your business and workplace culture healthy by following these steps to communicate effectively with your staff.

1. Hold Two-Sided Conversations

Conversations with your employees about change at work should not be one-sided. When you do all of the talking, the conversation becomes a lecture, which can disengage your team and come off as dictatorial.

This sort of communication can cause employees to become defiant or to find you less approachable, which will undoubtedly affect their work performance negatively.

2. Ask Questions

Show interest in how your employees view the business and show concern for how they see their roles with the organization. Focus on their responses to these three aspects when applied to the various areas of the company (e.g., customer service, production, etc.):

  • Concerns — fear of losing their jobs
  • Observations — what tactics work, which ones do not
  • Suggestions

Logistically, it’s not always possible to talk with every one of your employees. If that’s the case, you can send out a memo inviting them to submit their concerns and suggestions via email or a comment box.

As an alternative, you could approach the manager of each department and ask him/her to present information from the team’s perspective.

3. Listen to Your Employees

Holding a conversation about change at work is meaningless if you have no intention of actually listening to what your team has to say. Employee input can make all the difference in the work-flow of your company and can positively affect worker performance and customer satisfaction.

When employees can see you showing initiative and taking their concerns into consideration, it increases their level of trust in you and their sense of purpose within the company.

4. Develop a Strategy

Once you’ve spoken with your team members and have gotten a feel for their concerns, observations, and suggestions, you can develop an effective strategy for ensuring their safety and structure as a team and as individuals.

5. Implement That Strategy

It’s not enough to simply develop a strategy. If you are willing to take your employees’ opinions into account, then you should also show them you care not just for the business but for their best interests, as well.

Inform them of your plan of action and how you intend to fulfill that plan so they can once again feel secure in the workplace and increase the quality of their work performance.

Be sure to inform your employees of change at work well before it happens and listen to their input with an open mind. Approaching potential changes from their perspective and with their best interests at heart will help reduce stress and fear while maintaining steady performance in the work environment.

Rail Switch Photo via Shutterstock

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Amy Blackburn Amy Blackburn is a writer for Stoner Bunting Gift Cards, a nationwide leader in employee recognition gift card programs based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Amy stresses the importance of relationships with clients as the key to continued success.

One Reaction
  1. I agree about talking about the move before it happened. It will help get your employees ready for the move and will not overwhelm then when it happens. Asking for their input will also show that you care about them so all’s good.