In today’s world, businesses are continuously evolving, with new tools, techniques, and operational strategies surfacing every day. Although change is essential for growth and efficiency, it can also stir a common response – the fear of change in business.
This fear can serve as a formidable roadblock; in fact, according to Accenture’s 2017 Financial Services Change Survey, 74% of executives cited fear as a significant hurdle to progress. Moreover, a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report pointed out that almost 75% of organizational change programs don’t succeed due to inadequate readiness for the change.
At RAS Systems, we recognize the complexities of implementing change. Whether you’re an executive considering a new machine acquisition or a technician unsure of how new systems might impact your role, understanding how to navigate change can make a huge difference. We’ve compiled these tips on how to approach fear of change in business to help guide the conversation and change progress to encourage success.
Why Do People Fear Change
In the evolving business world, particularly in sectors like fabricating machines, where new knowledge and capabilities are always on the rise, there is a common issue – the fear of change. This fear of change in business operations occurs among employees for several reasons.
Fear of the Unknown – Employees who don’t have enough information about change are often afraid of not being able to manage potential outcomes. They have no guarantees on what is going to happen when change arrives, whether it’s a new piece of machinery or a new process, and without information, they assume the worst.
Too Much Change Too Quickly – When the workplace is saturated with change, individuals and an organization can be impacted negatively. This occurs when change happens in a short period of time, with no time to adjust before something new arrives.
Exclusion from Decision Making – When employees aren’t involved in the decision process, they’re forced to make assumptions about the changes that are on the way. Without this communication, they don’t understand why change is happening and what it means for them. There is also a chance that they will resist the change once implemented, and work to negatively impact the decision.
Most of the time, people aren’t against change – they just need to understand how change will help them and how it will occur. Approaching the fear of change in business is not just about change itself but more about communication – talking openly with your team, explaining things clearly, and showing how the change will improve your employees’ lives.
How to Approach the Fear of Change in Business
Facing the fear of change can be a challenge, but there are ways to make it less daunting. Start by keeping your team in the loop—surprises can be unsettling, so be upfront about any upcoming changes. Remember, it’s not just about telling them what will change but also what will stay the same. Reassuring them that familiar aspects of their jobs will remain intact can make the transition less stressful.
Illustrate the benefits of the changes with concrete evidence—case studies, industry examples, machinery demos, or relevant data. Highlight the direct impact these changes will have on their work life, such as improved efficiency, better work-life balance, or smoother workflows with fewer holdups. This will help show them how other businesses have used these changes to their advantage or give them an idea of what change will look like.
Change doesn’t have to be rushed. Create a set schedule for the adjustments you’re making and relay the plan to your team. This approach allows your team to adjust to change step by step, with timelines for them to anticipate each part of the change process.
Equip your team with the tools they need to thrive in the changed environment. If you’re adding a new piece of equipment, consider training from the manufacturer, like we offer at RAS Systems. Providing training and resources to educate your team can boost their confidence in their ability to adapt and help them be better prepared for the new changes you’ve created.
Finally, stand by your team during this journey. Listen to their concerns, acknowledge their feelings, and provide support. Emphasizing empathy and understanding can go a long way in overcoming the fear of change in business.
Whether you’re looking to implement new processes or add a new type of sheet metal folding machine to your business, fear of change is something that you can face. Using these tools can help you and your team better approach these adjustments and help your employees thrive.
Are you ready to bring positive change to your business to help your team? Contact the RAS Systems team for more help on how to introduce our machinery to your business with success.