One of the most stressful situations for your employees is a change in management. Since supervisors control most everything about a department’s culture, work hours and expectations, the appointing of a new manager will surely affect the underlings. They will likely stress about what the new changes mean for them, and this anxiety can affect their efforts in and commitment to work. Follow these steps to prepare your staff for upcoming changes.
Disclosure – The first step that is imperative to take is to let your underlings know that one of their immediate supervisors is going to either leave the company or the department as soon as possible. Secrets are rarely kept in a close knit environment, like an office space, and the news will leak sooner or later. You want to make your employees feel like their bosses are upfront with them, which will make them certain than nothing is being kept from them. Set up a meeting and share the news with all the staff.
Employee Input – If possible, try to involve your staff members in the selection of the new candidate for the management position. If you have a few internal choices, ask the staff for feedback on who the best party would be. Or, if you are hiring a new supervisor from outside the company, involve the employees in the interview process once you narrow down the number of candidates. Allowing individuals to have an input in the selection of their new leader would give them a chance to voice any concerns prior to you committing to a new hire.
Trial Period – When you finally select a new manager, make it very clear to that person that a trial period will ensure. The timeframe can be anywhere between a few weeks to a couple of months. During that time, you need to make sure that the manager will not only be able to complete his or her own tasks, but treat the underlings with respect and kindness. That person will need to possess leadership qualities, such as being a good motivator, an excellent communicator, and an expert in problem-solving skills.
Feedback – In order to make sure the process of switching managers is going smoothly, remember to ask for regular feedback from the employees affected by the change. While you will surely interact with the new supervisor, the employees are the ones that will have the day-to-day communication with that person, and will have the most input about that candidate. As long as your staff is happy, everything is good. If they are not, you will need to look into the situation and see what changes will need to be made.
A change in management is never an easy process for employees. They don’t’ know what the new candidate will be like, and how that person will affect their working day. Therefore, upper management needs to be involved in the process by following the steps above.
Senior Trainer & Consultant