CH- CH- CH- CH- Changes

In Health and Safety, April 20222 MinutesBy Tracey MurphyMay 10, 2022

How do you help employees accept change in the workplace?

I recently had a conversation with one of the Safewise team about how people can be resistant to change, even when we know it will make their lives easier. We need to remember that there has been a lot of change in everyone’s lives over the past two years or so.

With change comes uncertainty, which leads to fear. Often, when changes take place inside a workplace, that uncertainty is about money – will I still have a job? Will I still earn what I need to? Currently, there is a lot of uncertainty about money or health. People are concerned about the effects of Covid- 19 on themselves and their families and friends.

This isn’t an article about protecting people from the uncertainty and fear of Covid-19, which has been discussed in great detail by many well-qualified practitioners. Rather than that, I would like to raise awareness how the changes and fear resulting from Covid-19 impact every aspect of society, especially when we are trying to introduce something new.

Talk to your workers about the change you want to make and why. Reassure them that this will have no impact on their position, workload or income. It’s important to tell them the truth – don’t say it won’t change something if you know it will.

Listen to their concerns. Ask them what they are unsure of. If you can, introduce the change as slowly as possible. Consider selecting a few workers to trial it. It’s nice to have positive people onboard, but trialling something with a resistant worker can be very successful. If they adopt it well, they will greatly influence others. Consider buddying-up workers so that they can support each other. You may like to introduce a worker mentor, so workers have someone to approach who isn’t management. Don’t punish failure; encourage better performance.

Above all, if it is a valid change, persevere, and it will eventually become just the way things are done.