Change is hard for individuals. Change is not an event with an exact start and stop point; it is a process. Each step made towards change, even when small, is still a step in the right direction. This can be hard for many individuals to understand, and it will even cause them frustration.
As a leader it’s important that you are aware of the different stages of change, not only in order for you understand the actions and events happening with and within your group but also for you to be pro-active in your own actions.
We’ve made it easy for you and outlined the basic 5 stages of the change process:
Stage 1: Awareness – Individuals aren’t yet consciously aware that change is necessary or desired. Think of a change that you would like to implement with your employees. In your next meeting, create awareness of why the change is necessary.
Stage 2: Desire – Now there is awareness that change is needed, but no one has committed to making the change.
In your next meeting, go over the pros and cons of making the change. Ask your employees what they think the pros and cons are. Help employees by removing the barriers of the change (address the cons that are mentioned).
Stage 3: Knowledge – This is the stage where individuals start making plans to change.
Make sure that you give a clear picture of what the change will look like so that your associates are able to make an easy transition.
Stage 4: Ability – Here is where you will make the change. To stay successful, you will need strategies to maintain the changed behavior and resist old behavior.
Recognize employees for making the change and resisting old behavior. Provide coaching and help your employees associates stay focused on the new behaviors.
Stage 5: Reinforcement – In this stage, the new behavior remains stable and consistent. Coping strategies are strengthened or modified to make sure maintenance is sustained.
Continue coaching your employees as they strive towards the reinforcement stage.
Do you want to learn more about change management or do you need some support going through a major change in your organization? Get in touch with us for a dialogue about how we can help you through a successful process.