Setting Expectations for Successful Workplace Change
Change is often viewed with opposing lenses. For some, change excites and motivates and is considered an opportunity for growth. For others, change is often feared as it signifies a loss of control or venturing into the unknown. There is no silver bullet for dealing with change, but there are effective techniques to initiate workplace change.
Change happens every day, and whether we want it or not, it happens. While most would like the opportunity to prepare for change, that is not always possible. What must be understood is that change affects everyone differently, and the more that can be done to help manage expectations, the better.
Over the past few years, many organizations have faced both planned and unplanned workplace change. The results of a McKinsey survey revealed that only approximately 30 – 38% of change initiatives are successful, about a third are somewhat successful, and the remaining third are unsuccessful. There is much room for improvement. It’s important to understand that significant workplace change requires setting expectations.
People need control. To deal with change, we need to accept that there are just some things we cannot control. Some may deal with change by focusing on the things about the situation that can be controlled, such as their reaction to it.
The human need for control can be met by dictating or anticipating the change. We can jumpstart the process of dealing with change by identifying some possible ways that the situation could result. Expectations are established based on the projected results. Control is established when actual results match expectations. When expectations and reality are not the same, there is a sense of loss of control.
Change is inevitable for companies to grow, progress, and stay in business. As with many other areas of growth, it’s all about communication. Understand that for some people, facilitation of change includes helping set expectations.