Is there a big change likely to happen in your organization’s future? It won’t be fully implemented without strategic thinking–about your employees.

Communicating change is tough. Making the change stick is even tougher. If your organization is about to make a big change, focus on the people first. Here are some key ways to focus on staff and make change a little easier.

Consider Employees First

No matter how beneficial the change, it will take your employees to implement it. Helping them understand the change and, further, gaining their support for the change will be key. First, identify all key groups of people or individuals who will be impacted. How will they be impacted? What will they be losing (or perceive they are losing)? Then, once you have listed each impact, identify a strategy for helping these groups or individuals deal with their actual or perceived losses. For example, if a group will move from offices to cubicles, their loss of privacy will be a key way they will be impacted. One strategy to help employees cope could be to dedicate private spaces for them to make phone calls and hold private meetings.

Involve Employees In The Change Process

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Employees who feel they have helped plan the change will be more likely to help make the change because they understand how and why it will occur. Identify ways you can involve employees in the implementation process. Can key employees participate on the planning committee? How about having employees brainstorm ways to implement the change? Offer rewards for the best ideas or the teams who meet implementation goals first. Ask employees to share with the organization in full staff meeting or via a company intranet how they have successfully implemented the change.

Show Upper-level Commitment

Employees will not support a change they feel is not fully supported by upper management. Instead, they will wait out the change, knowing that it will eventually go away to be replaced by the next change. What are some specific ways you can show commitment to the change? Are all your managers showing support for the change – even if they do not agree with it? Consistency in your words and actions is an important way to model the change for staff. What are some ways that you can show concern for your employees during the change? Show up on the front line and help employees implement the change. Do the work of line-level employees and listen to their concerns and questions.

With simple planning, communicating a change effectively can help employees successfully implement a change in any organization.