14 Best Practices Businesses Do to Keep Employees Happy During Major Company Transition
Company transitions inspire mixed feelings. You may feel happy and excited about the change that’s about to happen but your employees might not feel the same. Sure, some will feel great about the company growing, but some of them might feel scared or threatened by the change.
This is normal and there are some ways that you can prevent your employees from feeling that way.
Here are the best practices you can take to ensure that your staff is happy throughout a major company transition.
#1. Be Transparent
Let your employees know what they can expect during the company transition. A change can already seem like a vulnerable time in their career. You don’t want to catch them off-guard with immediate changes. Tell them what is about to happen, whether their roles will change or that their responsibilities may grow. When you let them in on what’s happening, you maintain that trust and keep them motivated at work.
#2. Provide An Advanced Notice
If you have to let go of some people, you want to let them know ahead of time so they come fully prepared. A two-months notice is best –this is just enough time for them to arrange their finances and look for a new job. You don’t want to delay their last pay either. To help with that, you can keep direct deposits easier with money transfers. This ensures that they receive their last payment on time and that they don’t need to go back to the office beyond their last day.
#3. Provide Relocation Packages
If a company change involves moving to a new location, you want to make your staff’s life easier by giving them options for free transport or carpools. If the location is in another state, you may have to provide a more lucrative relocation package.
#4. Organize Team-Building Activities
You may be introducing new people to your team during your transition. To make their integration easier, you may want to organize a team-building activity where everyone can get acquainted with each other. So that rather than seeing the new employees as a threat, your tenured employees can view them as teammates that they can collaborate with.
#5. Ask for Employee Feedback
During this time of change, your employees’ feedback is more important than anything. You want to have real-time information on how they feel about the transition. This helps you to recognize what needs to be done and create solutions for problems that may arise.
#6. Provide Training
As the company goes through change, their responsibilities may also change. They may be given tasks that were originally not part of the job description before. To help ease the transition, you should be providing training. This allows them to do their jobs properly and continue fulfilling their roles in the company. It’s also a good motivator for them knowing that what they are doing is important.
#7. Reward Well-Performing Employees
At a time where everything seems unstable, your employees need assurance that they are doing their job right. A way to ease their worries is by giving rewards to those who are doing really well. It doesn’t even have to be monetary –it can be as simple as verbal praise through the company chat or added flexi-time. You will be surprised by how happier employees are with this type of reward rather than monetary compensation.
#8. Stay Positive
Your employees are about to undergo a stressful change. But you want to maintain the same positive work culture that you had before. If there’s a problem during the transition, focus on fixing them. Offer more perks like free parking spaces, group lunches, a snack bar, or even a relaxation room. All these things add up to building employee morale and will encourage them to stay positive throughout the transition.
#9. Keep Employees Based on Merit
Let’s be honest. You have your favorites in the office. But some of them may not necessarily the best performers. During a company transition, the decision to let them go will be hard, but very necessary. You want to keep employees not because you’re best buds during lunch but because they had a big contribution to the company’s growth.
#10. Find The Right People
If the transition doesn’t happen until after a few months and you’re still in the process of hiring more people, make sure you’re recruiting the right ones. No use hiring an employee that you’re going to fire two months later. You need to be getting dedicated people in the first place. One that works for the team and not for themselves alone. These are the people who will stay with your company during the transition.
#11. Engage Employees in Critical Decision Making
This is in line with point #5 which is asking for feedback. There’s no point in asking for their opinion if they don’t see you implementing it. You’ll only come off as insincere. During the company’s most rocky times, you want to involve them in decision making. Let them know you take their input seriously and use the information you gathered to make a final decision.
#12. Address Specific Concerns
Most managers will address a recurring concern during company-wide gatherings. When you address problems this way, it can feel impersonal. The solutions you come up with don’t really seem sincere and employees feel like you just swept the problem under the rug.
At this time, you need your employees’ trust more than anything. And a way to do that is by addressing specific needs. This may mean setting up meetings with individual persons or departments. This shows that you care about your employees’ differing needs.
#13. Avoid Micromanaging
It’s understandable that during a transition, you’ll want to look over everyone’s work making sure they’re doing their job right. However, micromanaging your employees will only lead to dissatisfaction. No one wants to feel like a child that needs to be watched over. You hired these people for a reason. Trust that you made the right decision and leave them to do the tasks on their own. You can then let them know that you are there in case they have a question or run into a problem.
#14. Repeat the Message
So you’ve made an announcement about the transition months ago but haven’t mentioned it since. Only secret meetings here and there, questionably one on one sessions, odd tasks added to projects. People aren’t on the loop and they’re worried something is going on.
You need to be clear with your staff. Most of the time, people need to hear something over and over before they start to believe it. The first time you said it may have just been a passing thought to them a few days later. This is especially true if they don’t like the news. As a boss, you need to communicate what the implications of the change will be.
As mentioned in the points above, it may mean changing roles, moving locations, laying off employees, adding incentives. Whatever it may be, you always need to keep your employees updated on the changes. This helps them to change their behavior and work towards meeting the company’s transition goals.
Which of these steps are you already taking? Share your thoughts in the comments below.