Temperament Tip #9

Temperament Tip #9

How to Manage Change Effectively in the Workplace (Part 2 of 2)

In part 1 of this two-part article, I explained that one of the greatest stressors experienced by today’s business community is change. In order to reduce the amount of stress associated with change, as a manager you first need to understand what your employees value and their fundamental reactions to the change process. Then, you can communicate with them in a way that accommodates their values and allows your team to work in the nexus.

How, exactly, is this done? Let’s look at this idea in action.

Bob is the manager of a department that is about to undergo some major policy changes. These changes will ultimately affect the vacation schedules of his team. Bob, a Gold manager, recognizes that his team is composed of 2 Blues, 1 Orange, 1 Green, and 2 Golds. What are the issues and possible components of his plan?

First, let’s look at Bob’s basic issue. He has been included in the policy making process. He has worked through and accepted the change primarily because he was part of the process. As a Gold manager, Bob is committed to successfully putting the policy in place as written and per his manager’s expectations. His manager understands the need to work and communicate in the nexus. He has given Bob some freedom to make some departmental adjustments in order to facilitate effective change. Here are some ideas for working with each of the different temperaments:

Blue. Blue employees want to be actively involved in the change process. As this change was made and handed down, they are concerned about how the change in vacation will affect their families and the other employees within the department. Here’s what Bob can do to help meet their needs:

  • Invite to all meetings about departmental implementation
  • Set the expectation for a high level of two-way communication about implementation
  • Provide schedules in order to provide them time to make necessary family adjustments
  • Allow some sort of flextime option

Gold. Gold employees are upset that they were not given input into the policy changes. As the change was made and handed down, they want to know how the policy will be implemented and when. They want to know if the policy affects all departments (and all members of their department) and how it will affect their daily work tasks and schedules. Here are some things Bob can do to bring the Golds on board:

  • Invite to all meetings about departmental implementation
  • Provide timelines for policy implementation
  • Provide new schedules to highlight task responsibilities and expectations
  • Listen to and respond to policy concerns quickly and efficiently

Green. Green employees are not happy about a mandated change. They want to know the details about why it was necessary, how it will increase their effectiveness, and if there is any freedom to adjust the policy if it does not turn out to be effective.

  • Invite to all meetings about departmental implementation
  • Provide data about why the policy was necessary
  • Provide specific information about the effect of the policy on their work environment (this might include provision of some sort of flextime option)
  • Avoid bog-down with extraneous information. Provide what they need and let them get back to work.

Orange. Orange employees are not happy about a mandated change and are concerned that they will not have the same amount of down-time. They need to know how strict the policy is and the ramifications of not following it to the letter.

  • Invite to all meetings about departmental implementation
  • Provide new schedule of vacation
  • Provide specific information about how the policy will be monitored (be straight and to the point)
  • Allow some sort of flextime option

If Bob utilizes one or two components from each color in his implementation plan, he has a much better chance for a smooth transition with his entire department. He must accept that they will all react to his announcement of change with different concerns and issues. If he communicates and works to the nexus, he can meet all of those concerns and increase the chances of successful (and less stressful) change implementation.

In our example above, Bob’s company has increased the effectiveness with which change in implemented by recognizing that their employees are inherently unique and valuable. They have taken it to the next step by actively accepting that they must work and communicate to the nexus to meet the values and needs of each member of their team. They have provided managers with the abilities to make minor (yet significant) departmental changes. In effect, they are practicing what they know.

By empowering their change agents to empower their employees, they have taken one more step toward ensuring that they can survive the changes they face each and every day.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Continue wearing your colored lenses and talking to people with words that reflect their preferences.
All of the information in this newsletter is owned by Nathan K. Bryce. The content of this newsletter may not be used or duplicated without written permission from the copyright holder.