According to a study from Gartner, employees’ ability to cope with change is 50% of what it was pre-pandemic. Our collective level of burnout is at an all time high, while agility in our response to change is at an all time low.
When thinking of change, massive, company-wide restructurings may come to mind. But the same Gartner study found that day-to-day changes are far more damaging for employees — and of course, these are far more common occurences. At a time when more organizations need to reset and step into the newness of a post-pandemic world, employees’ threshold for change has plummeted. So how do you go about boosting your team’s change threshold?
Recent research we conducted with YouGov revealed 1 in 5 frontliners (21%) say bureaucracy stops them from making fast and effective decisions at work. So it makes sense that communication and cohesive processes are key.
Let’s dive into how we can push burnout and unnecessary bureaucracy aside to ease teams into new and improved ways of working.
Reduce unnecessary change
Remedying your organization’s aversion to change begins with an understanding of where the change is coming from. Some updates are naturally unavoidable, but some of the burnout-inducing change plaguing your teams is created unnecessarily. Things like team restructuring, the continuous addition of new tasks, frequent reprioritization of current tasks, on-the-fly schedule tweaks and last-minute worksite changes, each have a greater impact to employees than many managers realize.
Not only do they cause an interruption to your team member’s focus in the moment, but the chaotic and confusing environment they create over time makes it impossible for employees to thrive. Replace the chaos with consistency by limiting the daily changes you push upon your teams. Once daily schedules are set, don’t allow new tasks to be added or tweaks to be made. Something as simple as a reliable schedule begins to build the foundation of trust needed when unavoidable changes do arise.
Empowering your employees with the tools to receive and adapt to change ensures they can confidently take on whatever comes their way. Cutting down on the noise of inter-company communication and limiting last-minute changes to only include what is absolutely necessary allows a standard to be set for frontline communication.
Create a schedule for non-essential communications so team members can expect that anything received outside of that schedule is urgent and should be addressed immediately. Modes of communication like our very own Heads Up can help convey urgency and broadcast your message instantly in a newsfeed format to align teams wherever work happens. A digital record of views, acknowledgments and reminders remove the fear of missed alerts around critical change.
Providing your team members with the necessary training for their role gives both them and you confidence in their abilities. EdApp by SafetyCuture makes it easy to teach your employees the skills they need to excel, without straining your resources on course creation. Hundreds of editable courses around equipment usage, job-site safety and industry best practices, make setup and deployment a seamless process.
Mobile-first platforms, teched-out tools and stellar strategies all need a foundation of strong communication to support them. When it comes to communicating change and the details surrounding it, there is often a fine line between sharing too much and not sharing enough. Leaving out essential information can create confusion and foster feelings of resentment, while oversharing leads to overwhelm.
Before you share, decide what details are essential and what additional information might be helpful for team members and go from there. If you are communicating a big change to your employees, consider what questions they might have and how you will respond before the conversation begins. This preparation will help you stick to the facts, leaving your own speculations and stress-inducing “what ifs” out of the situation.
Keeping communication streams flowing between you and your employees is always a good business practice, but is especially important if the newly introduced changes are difficult or disruptive. Prolonged stress, fear and confusion all lead to low morale and resentment. Not only do these negative feelings take a serious toll on mental health, they also hinder productivity and performance.
Change can be hard, but it doesn’t always have to be. Consistently providing your employees with the tools, training and communication necessary to navigate daily changes builds a culture of mutual trust. When the big changes do come, you can be confident in your teams’ ability to adapt and successfully move the organization forward, together.
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