Getting employees on board with operational changes

change ahead sign large

How can I get my team on board with massive operational changes?

The reality is that some people don’t like change. But as long as you partner with employees, there shouldn’t be major staff fallout.

It can be tricky to find the balance between listening to your team’s point of view on the changes and avoiding giving your power away. You may accept many or few recommendations, but you need to be able to explain your decisions. Regular department meetings to complete that circle of communication take more time, but it’s more efficient than doing damage control after the fact.

I’ve seen folks refuse to do a job based on their new job description. And that’s when it’s time to ask, “Do you understand the consequences of not learning this skill?” They can either accept a demotion or move on from the operation. It helps to know what makes an employee tick, and to understand his or her internal motivations. Then you can give each individual the equipment, training, time and support they need.

Finally, employees need to see change not as a power struggle, but as a partnership. Let them have some control and a voice during the process; but ultimately, they need to respect your boundaries and authority.

—Lynne Eddy
Associate Professor, Business Management
The Culinary Institute of America

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