Are You Good At Managing Change?

By: Vicki Pero, SPHR


If there’s one thing we have all done a lot of during the past year, it’s change. The pandemic has required that we find new ways to complete our work, connect with people, and serve customers, just to name a few things. As we start to shift our thinking to returning to some sort of normalcy later this year, more change will be needed because the new normal is sure to look different than life before COVID.

Taking a thoughtful and deliberate approach to managing change is a valuable skill for any leader. This can help ensure all team members adapt to the new way of doing things.
Follow this four-phase change management process to help employees adapt to changes until they become the new normal for all team members.


In this early stage, send messages aimed at building awareness by simply explaining what the intended goal of the change is and why the organization wants to move in a new/different direction. Communications should cover the scope of the change, explain how the new approach will link to current processes, and provide expected timelines for implementation.


In the next stage, the goal is to make sure employees understand the changes that are going to occur. Employees start to connect how the new system affects their particular jobs and the jobs of others. Details should be given about what, if any, new tasks this change means for them and training support they will be given to prepare for any new tasks.


As time passes and questions are answered, employees reach a stage of acceptance. At this point, messages focus on items such as agendas and timelines for required training. Messages should also cover some of the expected snags employees might encounter during implementation.


At the adoption stage, the change is in place and becomes invisible across the organization. Conversations about working out the bumps may continue in the early part of this phase. More messages should be shared about measuring the effectiveness of the new process or system and about how to address situations when it doesn’t work as planned, both short term and long term.