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Imagine if you walked into your office tomorrow morning and it was completely revamped, your assistant is on a permanent vacation, you have a new computer – all your old files are missing AND there isn’t a coffee machine to be found. The boss decided it was time for a change.

You are in panic mode, right? Your mind isn’t on clients it’s on you! You have a routine, you like your “stuff” where you like it, your assistant knows everything about you AND your next thought before you say it and last but surely not least banning coffee is just not a good thing. The world as you know it is in serious trouble – at least your business world. Time to job shop.

This scenario, albeit a bit dramatic, happens. We often see businesses going through mergers and acquisitions, C-Level shake-ups, and even location moves. Change is disruptive and not everyone handles it well – especially frontline teams.

So how do you implement change without losing all your employees? Patience and understanding.

  1. First, you need to understand your team – what makes them tick and what drives them crazy. At Sandler, we use DISC and Devine assessments to determine how things like change affects individuals. No two people are alike and team leaders will want to adjust the pace of changes based on how different people react.
  2. Meet with the key players. Make sure all management and team leaders are on the same page see the “new stuff” as you do. Clear communication will be very important if you want success!
  3. Understand that some team members will never want to change and may not survive your culture change or implementation of new policies. It happens – but if you are patient and understanding with your “tough” employees you might be able to sway the majority!
  4. Be clear and concise – If you are implementing new policies and procedures have it in writing, have a team meeting to review and answer questions and be there for back up when problems arise – and they will!
  5. Tell your team Why! Everybody wants to be part of a group – it’s human nature. When you are contemplating a big change – make sure your team understands WHY you are doing it. The WHY is the fuel that will drive them to act towards one goal. Without a WHY to rally around, you have individuals setting their own direction and their own pace that’s in line with their WHY.

Creating a new culture, bringing in a new leadership team, or even implementing a new internal software system can be daunting for employees! Be patient and understand that change can’t happen over-night, it is a process that has defined steps and will take time.

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