31 Ways To Help Employees Handle Change

  1. Stay positive and relentless.

From Cathy McCullough of McCullough Group LLC, while others are grumbling, leaders need to continue communicating the positive and recognizing progress.

  1. Check your expectations.

Don’t make assumptions about how the change will go – good or bad. Just deal with whatever happens without making value judgments.

The reason? Value judgments could keep you from identifying the best way to deal with whatever situation you’re facing.

You don’t have time to get over disappointed expectations; you have to solve problems.

  1. Offer training and resources.

Helping people feel ready and confident about being able to handle the change lowers the fear and uncertainty. Consider informal and hands-on learning options so you don’t have to organize formal classes.

  1. Take baby steps.

Leo Babauta, author of The Habit Guide, recommends taking any change in small steps. It lowers resistance and fear. Then you can stack up a string of small differences into a big one.

  1. Hire for adaptability.

Most job descriptions today focus on technical skills and experience over the ability to learn and adapt, but it’s becoming more and more important to find people who can learn tomorrow’s technology. Because you can’t hire for that today.

  1. Teach employees how to learn.

Many people think that reading an instruction list or attending a workshop is all people need to learn something new, but it takes patience and practice to turn unfamiliar behaviors into a comfortable old habit.

Erika Andersen, author of Be Bad First suggests teaching employees how to accept and work through that adjustment period rather than giving up because they “just don’t get it.”

  1. Make change an expectation.

People tend to assume that whatever is happening now will go on forever. I once had a boss who made a point to tell his team that no matter how good or bad things seem now, it will change.

He advised us to enjoy what we love about our jobs but to be ready for an inevitable shift. When the new order did come, I wasn’t crushed.

  1. Focus on one change at a time.

Melissa Jones, vice president of human resources at CSAA Insurance Group, writes, “Employees want to be aligned and want to do the right thing for their organization, but you risk confusing or disengaging them if there are too many organizational change priorities in play at one time.”

  1. Bring on the peer pressure.

Colleagues may be the best persuaders for keeping others on track.

A Harvard Business Review study of hand washing in hospitals found that the most effective ways to get everyone regularly washing their hands was for the employees to hold each other accountable. It worked better than cash incentives or signs.

  1. Set and keep clear priorities.

Change can sometimes pit priorities against each other. When priorities aren’t clear, people get uncomfortable and feel they can’t win.

Leadership has to set direction and be willing to back up those who act accordingly.

  1. Set up the change to deliver quick wins.

If possible, ensure that employees see some benefits very fast. Implement easier changes first and celebrate the successes before tackling bigger ones.

What’s your favorite technique for easing the transition through change?


Carol Bleyle
Carol Bleyle
CAROL handles client services and marketing for Software, a training platform designed to promote experiential, on-the-job learning and development. She works to realize the vision of turning the 70% of informal learning we do at work into a powerful training and development tool. With an M.A. in Cognitive Linguistics from the University of California at Berkeley, Carol views skills development through the lens of cognitive science and psychology And over the past 23 years, whether in traditional classrooms or on-the-go mentoring in her own company, Carol has constantly searched for realistic ways to make learning more natural and engaging. As a writer, trainer, consultant, entrepreneur and public speaker, Carol helps business owners find practical solutions to employee performance. She and her husband reside in beautiful Loudoun County Virginia with three energetic dogs and two lazy horses.

CHECK FOR TICKETS / JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE



    • Thanks! I love your approach. It makes so much sense. Do you see yourself as a coach, helping them find the best way to implement, or do you take a different role in the process?