It’s a well-known fact that many change initiatives fail, between 50-70%. But of those changes that are successful, a staggering 90% are a direct result of employees who are willing and motivated to change. How do we get employees to buy in? What will move people out of their comfort zones? How do employees go from fearing change to excitement about change? Leading through change.
Start by addressing people’s fear-based emotional reactions; It’s normal to react to disruption. Rather than ignoring people’s reactions, deal with openly with negative reactions. As leaders we need to get comfortable with people being uncomfortable.
Begin by talking openly with people in two key ways: Talk with them about how they feel about the change. And then based on their reaction, provide what they need.
For instance, some people might feel confused about the proposed change initiative. Even though information has been given, that doesn’t mean they understand the change. Communication about change must be clear and succinct. Consider crafting a short overview short description of the change, thirteen words or less. The point is to be as concise as possible. Afterward, answer any questions that people have and provide more details and explanations.
Other people may feel anxious about change. They might lack the confidence to adapt. Or they might not how to change. In response, provide training, teaching them what they need to know and do.
Some people are fearful of the unknown. There are many uncertainties with change. Allay their fears by communicating certainty of the process, with clear simple steps, frequent updates and short term goals.
Whatever the emotional reaction, address it openly. Lead people through change, mobilizing them from fear to acceptance, buy-in and excitement about the change.
Dr. Mark DeVolder is a Top Change Management & Transformation Expert, Award Winning Motivational Keynote Speaker Empowering Confidence through Change. Mark can teach you how to change, anticipate business trends and accelerate future-proof transformation. He’s done it before with industry leaders like Qatar Petroleum, PepsiCo, Royal Bank of Canada and Bristol-Myers Squibb.