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February 7, 2017

5 Tips to Successfully Lead Change in the Workplace

From improvements to setbacks, organizations of all types often face changes. Change is something that many people don’t handle well and is often feared. If change is not managed correctly, it can be costly for organizations. Understanding how to lead and manage through change in the workplace can help avoid failure and builds leadership skills. Here are five tips to consider when leading change.

Set the Tone for Change
Many organizations never set the tone for change to occur. Employees fall into a routine, become comfortable in their environment, and feel deceived if changes are on the horizon. Mix things up and challenge employees. Set the tone that the organization is evolving and change is certain.

Communicate Frequently
While communication may be happening, it is often not done effectivity. Communicate why changes are happening, what it means to the organization, and be persistent about communicating throughout all stages of change. Not effectively communicating can create frustration. No one wants to hear through word of mouth that big changes are coming.

Listen to People Who Work the Front Line
Seek advice and opinions of people in front line positions in your organization. People who interact with outsiders and co-workers on a daily basis will understand what needs to be changed and how it can impact work processes.

Be Prepared to Have Critics
While you may be transparent about changes that are happening, be prepared to handle criticism. Understand what questions and resistance may come up with your proposed changes and prepare to address these concerns. Being ready to handle critics will help avoid setbacks and negativity.

Have Patience
When you are thinking out the details and procedures for organizational change, it is important to give your organization time to understand and initiate the change. People may have questions and handle change differently. Pressuring others to adapt changes right away can cause resistance and can impact the culture of the organization.

As a leader at any organization, it’s crucial to master the strategies above in order to add value to your organization—and your career. Are you prepared to take on a leadership role or advance in your current one? Consider deepening your knowledge through the Leadership and Organizations program at the University of Denver’s University College, where you can earn a master’s degree or certificate online or evenings.

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