The implementation of a new project plan can cause change anxiety since it is change for the company, the department, and for the employee. Change is simply not a friendly term among many people. Change is different. Change is a disruption. But overall, change is constant. As Robert Wysocki stated in Effective Project Management, “Every day you face new challenges and the need to improve yesterday’s practices.”
In last week’s blog surrounding the discussion of different training modalities, what was thought to work in the past of the traditional-style classroom is no longer a one-size-fits-all option. Hence, change is necessary to create additional options in training for employees. In this scenario, change is not only for the trainees but also the trainer. The additional modalities create more work for the trainer, but what makes the change a success is when the trainer has full buy-in regarding the new project.
Project plans are most often viewed as extra steps. They leave employees wondering how they are impacted or why it matters to them. In order to better engage employees, give them a view into how the project plan will help them.
Four ways to help stakeholders adapt to change:
- Communicate early and often. Your team will appreciate being kept informed and begin to feel valued.
- Get those most impacted by the project to understand its value. Good news is contagious, so if you have excitement brewing about the value of the project, word will spread fast.
- Communicate for your audience. Choose a time and place that is most convenient for the impacted person or group. This levels the playing field and meets them on their turf.
- As questions or comments are brought up, answer them in a timely manner. This also stresses the importance of the stakeholder and their interest in the project.
At some point along the way, you will realize that no matter how hard you try, how quickly you respond, or how often you communicate, there will always be some who will never buy-in to what you are working to change. Don’t let them discourage you from continuing to move the project forward.
Go out there and create positive change in your organization one person at a time!