Change is something that will be ever-present, it will never go away however it presents fear for many professionals. One of the most memorable things I was told from an interim CEO was “change will happen with or without you, so do not fight it, rather embrace it.” This has been very important to remember throughout my career as the healthcare environment continues to evolve. Change is something that will never leave, and organizations are required to continue to improve to remain successful. Great leaders are those that can use change to their advantage, understanding that current success does not determine future success.
Change is something that needs to be create by executive management. Change must be initiated by leadership and the vision must be shared and applied across the organization. It is important that leadership is not afraid of change, but rather is excited and motivated to improve. The word change typically is thought of as a negative idea, however leadership must push change as an improvement, something that will be better for all associated parties.
Managing expectations during change is very important as support staff may be uncertain of their roles and how change will affect their operations. This uncertainty brings fear to individuals and can lead to a loss of productivity and satisfaction in the workplace. It is leadership’s responsibility to be open and communicate the purpose and ideal stages of change for the organization. Define the problem and the reason that change is necessary. Further, engage the employees on the change process to understand what can be improved and how they believe improvement would be best implemented. Communicate with employees and provide training during the transition phase and follow-up with the team to ensure the outcome is working for both sides.
Understand that without employee engagement, no matter how good the plan is, it will not be successful. It is important that staff goals are aligned with company goals when implementing successful change. Manage the relationships and the responsibilities equally to ensure that employee satisfaction remains high during and after change.