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Change isn’t easy in any organization. People become accustomed to routine and find comfort in old habits. People panic when their favorite restaurant changes the menu or there’s a new instructor in their workout class, so a policy shift at work that might affect their career, could be earthshattering. Here are four ways to implement changes in your company so that your employees feel prepared.

 4 Ways To Implement Change Effectively

1) Be patient

Deal with people with humor, grace, persistence, pragmatism, respect, understanding, and support. As you’re ready to celebrate changes, many individuals in your company will be mourning the loss of their old habits and past successes. So, be patient. People are never prepared to change as quickly as most organizations want to impose it.

2) Focus on the long term

Keep the long-term goals in mind, and think about the impact of the change across one, three, and five years. Expect some tough times ahead. Even though everyone might celebrate and get excited after the initial change, it won’t always go so smoothly. There will surely be some growing pains and setbacks, but it’s your job to persist and cheer on your employees even when the future seems dark. Effective leadership can help an organization persevere and achieve success.

3) Enable some early wins

Set up the changes so that there will be some successes right away. This will encourage people, keep them motivated and feeling empowered, and convince them that these changes are best for the organization. Unless your employees eventually buy in, true change will be impossible. From the start, it will be a gradual process. Once change is announced, give the employees time to get used to it before you actually institute any chances. Make sure everyone knows when the first wave of changes will take place and is prepared for it—both mentally and in terms of necessary resources or infrastructure. No one likes surprises and no one likes feeling like they don’t have a foundation in place to be successful or a boss who doesn’t support them.

4) Acknowledge that change is risky and scary

People will want to revert back to their old, comfortable habits, so you’ll need to be constantly vigilant to make sure employees keep moving forward. You can’t force it or be militant about it, you have to propose it and then earn permission from all your employees.

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