Wednesday, April 8, 2020

How Company Culture Impacts Employee Morale and What Leaders can Do About It

Creating a strong company culture is a fundamental part of success. You need to invest in it to keep your employee's morale high. Ignore it and you might lose out on your momentum.

In fact, according to a survey, 66 percent of workers believe that company culture is extremely important to an organization's success.

A strong company culture ‒ both internal or external ‒ will make it clear what your organization does, how it does it, and what's expected of it.

When a company is fuzzy or chaotic, then that is where the problems arise.

What is Employee Morale?

In a nutshell, employee morale is the overall attitude, satisfaction, confidence, and outlook workers feel about their work.

When workers are positive about their work environment and feel that it could meet their vocational and career needs, then employee morale runs high.

But the thing is, you can't just give employee morale. What you can do is to control the majority of the components of the environment that workers have each day.

Employees, for instance, are a powerful contributor to whether employee morale will be positive or negative.

How Company Culture Affects Employee Morale

If your company culture is unclear, too rigid, or worse, non-existent, then you might be experiencing the following issues:

Lack of sense of purpose

In the rise of the millennial generation in the workforce, purpose becomes more important than ever. So, it doesn't come as a surprise anymore that a sense of purpose is crucial to maintain a successful work environment.

If your employees have a purpose-driven mindset each time they do their work, then they become more engaged, leading to better performance and productivity, and overall job satisfaction.

Feeling of underappreciation

Most people leave their jobs not because they're overworked or underpaid, but because they feel unappreciated and undervalued.

Remember that two of the most basic human desires are appreciation and validation. Employees need to feel that they matter, and not just merely cogs in a machine.

The good news is that when you invest your time and energy into appreciating their efforts, you’re saving yourself a lot of grief in the long run.

Stressful and toxic environment

Toxic company culture is one of the main causes of stress in the workplace. Also, the impact of a toxic and stressful working environment to your employees is real, both physically and mentally.

Some might not be so obvious or affect the person until they spend an extended period in the workplace.

The following characteristics are present in an unhealthy working environment

       Lack of positive feedback
       Lack of work-life balance

That's why employers need to find a healthy way to help their staff cope, with all the workplace pressures that come with the job.

Employee disengagement

Workers that are disengaged with their jobs are one of the main reasons why most businesses go bankrupt, and why the office culture has become increasingly toxic.

It’s also the reason why most organizations tend to lose their competitive edge, and most startups are bound to fail.

Not only disengaged employees could negatively impact a business, but it could also cost the company $2,000 for every employee per year.

The number one reason why employees feel disengaged from their jobs is that they no longer feel that their work is serving a purpose.

They're not aware that the individual tasks they're doing contribute a key role in the company's objectives. No one has taken the time to let them know of the priorities of the company, what the goals are, or a sense of recognition for a job well done.

That's why employers and leaders should understand the organization's mission and values by heart. They should behave in a way that rings true in those values. They also should take the time to appreciate their employees for their efforts, and give them the recognition that they deserve.

Over to You

When work becomes toxic, unfulfilling, and pointless, company morale will dip an all-time low.

But when employees feel great at what they do and how they do it, company morale will remain high. That’s because they feel that they belong to something bigger than themselves and will work hard to accomplish goals.

And you will see how it can have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line.

About the Author – Raymond Chiu is the Director of Operations for Maid Sailors Office Cleaning Companies NYC. Maid Sailors offers its customers unrivaled office cleaning services that can address even the toughest cleaning needs. Matched with affordable prices, Maid Sailors is your best partner in helping you turn your office into a work-friendly workplace.

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Monday, April 6, 2020

Leading in a Crisis

The real test of leadership does not occur when everything is smooth sailing. Rather, leadership is oftentimes tested during a crisis. Some organizations emerge from a crisis stronger and more ready to thrive than they were before the crisis arrived. The big differentiator that separates them from companies that falter is people – how their leaders empathize, engage, motivate, and capitalize on their talents and knowledge in the face of adversity.
So what can organizations do to turn adversity into an advantage during times of unprecedented uncertainty?
  1. Don’t ignore the anxiety people feelThis only magnifies it. It’s important to acknowledge and validate how people feel, as they’re often operating in survival mode – a natural “fight or flight” response. But fight (anger) of flight (escape) reactions keep us from acting on our opportunities. Empathize with how your people think and feel. Bring it out into the open and make them feel safe talking about it. Have managers invite people to write down their feelings in thought bubbles on pieces of paper. Then, as a team, discuss what’s in our control and what’s not. For the things that are within our control, look at them with fresh eyes and outline new ways to approach them in the current environment.
  2. Don’t go into hiding. In times of crisis, whether internal or external, the best leaders make themselves highly visible. When employees are uneasy, nervous, or upset, they want to see and hear from their leader. Leaders should remain highly visible and attempt to add some perspective to what’s going on inside or outside of the organization. Visibility and simply showing up go a long way toward building trust and fostering relationships across your team.
  3. Actively define reality. People are amazingly able to deal with reality even if it has a significant downside. It’s the unknown that is paralyzing. A leader’s job is to bring the facts about “exactly where we are” to their organization and teams. In times of economic trouble, not only can most people handle it, they crave it. Be truthful about job security. If there are no guarantees, tell them. Uncertainty and ambiguity can be more harmful than the bad news itself. That’s why accurate “big picture” news is an important tool. Providing context for actions – the “whys,” – is essential.
  4. Create a new starting line with your people. During times of crisis, people at all levels of an organization can become fixated on what we lose. It could be a vacation, a bonus, equity or 401(k) value, or even a promotion. Now all bets are off. Spending too much time on what people have lost prevents us from creating a new starting line, focusing our energy on the “new normal” and what we can start over with under the new conditions. Letting go of what could have been is a key first step to being focused on success in the new environment.
  5. Use urgency as an alignment ally. Instead of looking at change as a crisis lurking just around the corner, accelerate your efforts to analyze and act on problems instead of wandering around them. Urgency can better frame the challenges, engage people in a deeper understanding of the issues, and equip them with the responses necessary to be successful. Urgency is a powerful unifying force. Use it to your advantage!
  6. Establish new check-in routines. Staying in touch with your people is more important than ever. Setting a new routine of 15–30-minute check-ins every other day may be more important than ever. These brief interactions can be opportunities to share updates with the team, highlight the latest critical information, and identify adjustments that need to be made for business continuation. These check-ins become a powerful social experience to reinforce that we’re not alone in responding to the challenges we face.
  7. Celebrate all victories, large and small. This means even more recognition of the adaptive actions that get positive results. Don’t over-hype the small gains. To use some baseball lingo, it’s the singles and doubles that allow you to emerge stronger and persevere throughout the game.
  8. Scout the possibilities. Deputize your people as “opportunity scouts.” Doing so means tapping into what your people know about the current challenges and getting them involved in imagining a response and a recovery plan that creates value in the current environment. No matter how intensive past productivity efforts have been, people can always see more opportunities when they’re engaged in the essential threats we’re facing. Their ideas for weathering the storm on both the cost and revenue sides of the business are often better than what most leaders could implement on their own.
  9. Communicate the score. More than ever, people are interested knowing the costs, sales, and financial strength as measures of “how we’re doing.” Pay attention to their curiosity and interest and use it to immerse people in the metrics of the business. In most cases, you’ll institute a new set of targets during times of crisis. “How we’re doing” on these new metrics is essential information to share. Leaders need to balance the tension of “what’s real” with “what’s possible.”
  10. Stay positive and highlight the rays of light. Remain as optimistic as possible. How you show up in a crisis has a significant impact. Positive thoughts and actions focus on strengths, successes, opportunities and collaboration. Leaders radiate trust, hope and optimism that leads to positive energy, confidence and purpose. Rays of light exist and should be as much a part of the narrative as any losses we experience.
We are truly in uncharted territory right now, but we are navigating it together. This moment is calling forth the grace in all of us, especially those of us who lead. No matter how effective you are as a leader or how strong your work is, crises are inevitable. However, you can weather nearly any storm by facilitating communication, taking responsibility, acting decisively, practicing self-care, and taking advantage of the unexpected opportunities that a crisis can create. The more centered we are and the more we help our employees feel anchored and valued, the more grace we will collectively have to extend to others. As leaders, we need to ask ourselves are we taking the opportunity to lead – to rise above the chaos and crisis when everything seems impossible.

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Lean Quote: Stop Worrying and Start Problem Solving With Six Steps

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.  — Leo Buscaglia

Feeling worried and anxious? Find some comfort in knowing you're not alone and that these feelings are completely normal. Fear and panic relating to the coronavirus are spreading faster than the virus itself.

Worry is not productive. It’s not helping us problem solve. It’s not helping to motivate us.
And it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between worrying and problem solving. With problem solving, you find solutions. With worry, you just find more worries.

Today, I’m going to tell you the six steps you can take to start problem solving right now.

1.     Figure out a solvable problem. This can be harder than it sounds. First, you have to ask yourself “Is this really a problem?” So many times our problems are actually just worries in disguise. A solvable problem is one that you have control over, and that is happening right now. Solvable problem: I can’t pay both my phone bill and my car insurance. Unsolvable problem: The person I’m dating likes me less than I like them. In the solvable problem, you’re in control of what happens. In the unsolvable problem, you aren’t.

2.     Brainstorm solutions. Try to come up with at least ten. There are no bad ideas when brainstorming. It’s important to push yourself to come up with more than a few because that’s when you’re most likely to have a new idea. Something you haven’t thought of before.

3.     List the Pros and Cons. Pick your favorite two solutions and write out the pros and cons of each solution. Doing so will help you decide which solution to try first.

4.     Decide on a plan. Decide between your solutions. We recommend picking the one you can get started on right away, if possible. Then flesh out your plan. Who is involved? What will happen? When will it happen? Why are you doing it? Where will you do it? How will you do it?

5.     Do your plan. Hopefully you’ve picked something you can do right away.

6.     Evaluate it. How’d it go? Did it work? If not, reflect on why not and consider starting this process over again.

Uncertainty is a fact of life, so try to accept that you will always have to live with and tolerate some uncertainty. Unexpected things happen and accepting this in the longer term will make your life easier and reduce your anxieties.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your worry will always be helpful. Worrying is normally a very inefficient attempt to problem-solve. So when you worry, try to turn this into useful problem solving by considering what you need to do now to deal with the problem.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Lean Tips Edition #152 (#2491 - 2505)

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #2491 – Share Elements of Your Vision in Team and One-On-One Meetings. 
These settings provide a great opportunity to talk more at length about your purpose, core values, and mission as a company. Consider taking one core value and have everyone identify the types of behaviors and actions that demonstrate this core value. Setup one-on-one meetings with your team members to share your vision and how you see them being a key part of that vision.

Lean Tip #2492 – Set Up a Recognition and Reward System for Specific Behaviors That Exemplify Your Vision.
Most employees are worried that their boss will catch them making a mistake on the job. Instead of focusing on the negative, make it a practice for people to call out specific behaviors others are doing that align with your vision. Allow coworkers to recognize each other in meetings. Reward both of them for their efforts to build teamwork and live your vision.

Lean Tip #2493 – Act Consistently With The Vision
It is not enough to communicate vision verbally. Leaders and managers must role model the behaviors that they expect their people to perform. Without this consistency between words and action, credible leadership and the change project will dissipate rapidly, and resistance will grow.

Lean Tip #2494 – Celebrate Milestones and Small Wins in the Process.
In today's organizational environment, change is a constant. Even though the vision may be communicated clearly, it is still "out there." If one waits until the vision is achieved before celebrating, then the recognition of success may always be just out of reach. Leaders celebrate small wins and steps in the right direction. This recognition shows that the change is worth the effort and motivates employees to continue striving toward the vision.

Lean Tip #2495 – Your Vision Should Begin With Your Customers
The long-term survival of an organization depends on how well the organization stays aligned with and serves its internal and external customers. Functional units and the colleagues that comprise them must understand and apply the vision of greatness as they interact with customers and co-workers. 

Lean Tip #2496 – Use a Team to Create the Value Stream Maps and a Plan
Having one person create the map means you used only one brain and two hands. The information gathered may be biased or, even worse, incorrect. Decisions need to be made for what is best for the entire value stream, and that’s hard to do with only one person. Make sure you use a good cross-functional team to walk the shop floor, analyze part flow, gather the information, and then draw the map.

Ideally, someone with experience in VSM should lead the initial meetings. A person who has drawn several maps can help determine the process families with the team, teach the team the correct way to collect data and information, show how to draw the maps, coach toward a better future state, and facilitate a successful event.

Lean Tip #2497 – Draw Your VSM by Hand First
Some VSM software programs help you draw maps and perform many data manipulations. In my opinion, you should learn to draw it by hand first, because it will help you better understand the methodology (see Figure 1). By putting pencil to paper, you emerge yourself in the mapping process, and that’s how it becomes real. Yes, it may seem like a struggle at first, but with practice it becomes easier. The day you can grab a piece of paper, start discussing a problem with a colleague, and draw a map is the day you really start to understand the power of VSM.

Also, maps should be temporary. Once you reach your future state, that becomes the current state and you repeat the process of continuous improvement. Paper and pencil allow you to update maps easily, with no overprocessing waste.

By drawing value streams by hand and sticking to the standard symbols, anyone trained in VSM should be able to read your maps.

If you decide to use software instead of paper and pencil, make sure you are using it for the right reasons, such as for the ability to send a map electronically, and not just to make your maps look prettier.

Lean Tip #2498 – Start With Basic Building Blocks
If you’re trying to create a manufacturing cell when basic concepts such as 5S, standard work, or teamwork are not even present in an organization, good luck. I’m not saying that you can’t jump to a more complex technique or practice right away, but you will have a higher probability for success if you have a start on the basic concepts. This also goes for lean concepts like pull systems and kanban as well as total productive maintenance. Start with some of the basic principles and tools first before you try to implement something more complex.
Lean Tip #2499 – Don’t Expect Everything to Show up on the Value Stream Map
Even though the maps will give you great information and insights for improvement, they typically do not have other enterprise wide initiatives that an organization should undertake during its lean journey, such as 5S workplace organization and standardization. A company needs to have 5S everywhere, and VSMs may show only an area or process that needs 5S, not the entire facility. Also, other important functions like communication and training do not usually show up as an action item on a VSM, but these functions are extremely important while implementing lean concepts.

Lean Tip #2500 – Post Maps Where People Will See Them
Don’t hide your maps. A key benefit of displaying your value stream maps is to communicate what is going to happen at your organization over the next few months or during the next year. Many people resist change because they fear the unknown. Posting the maps with the plan removes or eliminates this fear. It’s also a way to start discussions and obtain buy-in and ideas for improvement. Don’t hide your maps; be proud of them!

Lean Tip #2501 – Listen and Observe to Help Employees Overcome Anxiety.
If you know changes are coming, take time to watch and listen carefully to your employees. Whether it's a major restructuring or a modification to a well-established procedure, change or even the anxiety over impending change can unsettle your employees and negatively impact the workplace. Sometimes employees will express their anxiety directly to you, but other times their apprehension becomes apparent through changes in their performance or behavior. This is especially true when change threatens their normal routine. Take the pulse of your organization. Then take steps to deal with the anxiety that you detect.

Lean Tip #2502 – Fix Things if You Can.
After hearing concerns and gathering input, address the issues you have control over. Often, uncertainty results from miscommunication or misunderstandings. If, after listening, you discover an easy way to dispel angst, take the initiative to fix whatever you can as quickly as possible. A reassuring word or guidance from management can have a positive impact on employees in uncertain times. If you find the problems caused by change are beyond your scope, avoid promising things you cannot deliver.

Lean Tip #2503 – Be Positive.
Remain optimistic. Encourage employees to seek out solutions, new ideas or cost savings. Look at procedures and policies and rework them, or propose alternatives with the bottom line in mind. When times are unsettled, it may appear to employees their efforts are not appreciated. By encouraging them to take the initiative you help them to keep moving forward and focused on what can or might be done, rather than fixating on events over which they have no control. As a group, craft creative solutions.

Lean Tip #2504 – Focusing on Things Which You Can Do
It is often a good idea to look forward at good things rather than focusing on something very big. It would always be a good solution to stop complaining on any issue and focus on short term solutions. Take time and help to handle the present situation rather than going in for broader ideas. This is one way to handle and overcome uncertainty.

Lean Tip #2505 – Demonstrate Your Concern.

Effective leaders know they can't achieve their goals if their people aren't performing at their best. Employees, especially in times of stress and challenge, look to management for solutions. They seek guidance when they feel uncertain and isolated from organizational decisions that are out of their control. As a first step, be an example of transparency and honesty. Open the lines of communication between management and employees. Talk openly and regularly about what you know, and encourage input. Show you care about your people's welfare by understanding their concerns and by doing whatever you can to help them.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

Lean Roundup #130 – March 2020 & COVID-19 Edition

A selection of highlighted blog posts from Lean bloggers from the month of March 2020.  You can also view the previous monthly Lean Roundups here.

Continuous Improvement Must Be Continuous – Wayne Chaneski say it’s easy to do the work to improve your facility and then want to sit back to see how things go unfortunately, this leads to complacency, which is hard to overcome.

The Unexpected Benefit of Cancelling Everything – Jon Miller shares 5 examples of Lean transformation to restart a better way after the we resume from the unprecedented cancellations.

Why Lean Remains A Superior Business Model and Way of Thinking - Daniel T. Jones shares some conclusions from research and experimentation over the past 30 years of disseminating Lean from Toyota.

The Difference Between Naive, Purposeful, and Deliberate Practice – Ron Pereira how Gladwell misinterpreted the research and, to be blunt, got most of the “10,000 rule” concept wrong.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AS A LEAN MANAGER? - Michael Ballé explains the role of a lean manager and why they are so important.

Is trust essential for lean success? – Jamie Flinchbaugh says Lean transformation, with its focus on collaboration and empowerment, is particularly sensitive to the foundation of trust within the organization.

Three Tips for Managing Your Newly-Remote Day – Johanna Rothman shares advice on working in this new normal amid the coronavirus quarantines.

Lean and COVID-19 – Bob Emiliani explains why Lean management should be part of the recovery plan for every business post COVID-19.

Out Of The Crisis: The Deming Institute’s Response to COVID-19 – Kevin Cahill talks about that remarkable ability that a crisis has to bring people together to make things better.

Simon Sinek – Remote Teaming Tips – Mark Rosenthal shares Simon Sinek’s weekly huddle advice in this new remote team environment.

A Few Nuggets on Lean Product Development – Jamie Flinchbaugh discussed 3 points that can speed up your new product development.

Deepening the Lessons of Crisis – Kevin Meyer says lessons are being taught by the coronavirus outbreak, but it’s important to use them to analyze the broader perspective.

Five Reasons Why It’s Hard to Stay Lean – Jon Miller shares five reasons that were inspired by the five realities of our biology that make it difficult to keep weight off.

Give People a Sense of Certainty Through New Routines – Steve Kane explains how to help people establish and adjust to new routines quickly they will become the new normal.

Leaders Need to Lead By Example, Especially in a Crisis – Mark Graban shares examples of leading by example from recent events in the news surrounding COVID-19 that we can all learn from.

How Can Lean Help Respond to Crises? - Michael BallĂ© explains lean thinking is about training to solve small crises – problems – daily and how it can be used in the COVID-19 crisis.

Coping with COVID-19: Lessons from The Plague - John Y. Shook shares six thoughts he using to guide him toward more effective hunkering during COVID-19.

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Lean Quote: The Mistake is Thinking That There Can Be An Antidote to the Uncertainty

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.  — David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary

Most people are creatures of habit. When things go as planned, we feel in control. But when life throws a curveball, it can leave us feeling anxious and stressed. For many Americans life feels particularly uncertain lately, with capsized travel plans, indefinite isolation, panic over scarce re-sources and information overload.

Research shows that people react differently to uncertainty, and that those with a higher intolerance for uncertainty may be less resilient and more prone to low mood, negative or down feelings and anxiety.

No one can avoid the unexpected. But these simple steps can help you better face life’s uncertainties.

  • Be kind to yourself. Some people are better at dealing with uncertainties than others, so don’t beat yourself up if your tolerance for unpredictability is lower than a friend’s. Remind yourself that it might take time for the stressful situation to resolve, and be patient with yourself in the meantime.
  • Reflect on past successes. Chances are you’ve overcome stressful events in the past – and you survived! Give yourself credit. Reflect on what you did during that event that was helpful, and what you might like to do differently this time.
  • Develop new skills. When life is relatively calm, make a point to try things outside your comfort zone. Become a continuous learner. Learn new skills, gain new understanding, and apply them during times of change or uncertainty. Taking risks helps you develop confidence and skills that come in handy when life veers off course.
  • Limit exposure to news. When we’re stressed about something, it can be hard to look away. But compulsively checking the news only keeps you wound up. Try to limit your check-ins and avoid the news during vulnerable times of day, such as right before bedtime.
  • Avoid dwelling on things you can’t control. When uncertainty strikes, many people immediately imagine worst-case scenarios. Get out of the habit of ruminating on negative events.
  • Take your own advice. Ask yourself: If a friend came to me with this worry, what would I tell her? Imagining your situation from the outside can often provide perspective and fresh ideas.
  • Engage in self-care. Don’t let stress derail your healthy routines. Make efforts to eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Many people find stress release in practices such as yoga and meditation.
  • Seek support from those you trust. Many people isolate themselves when they’re stressed or worried. But social support is important, so reach out to family and friends.
  • Control what you can. Oftentimes, we overlook the little things we can do to make life easier while obsessing about the big things we can’t do. Focus on the things that are within your control to give your days and weeks some comforting structure.
  • Ask for help. If you’re having trouble managing stress and coping with uncertainty on your own, ask for help. Psychologists are experts in helping people develop healthy ways to cope with stress.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

COVID-19 and How to Deal With Change

With COVID-19 cases recorded in more than 140 countries, the novel coronavirus has become a global health crisis that is disrupting lives in countries around the world.

In the U.S., restaurants, bars and offices have been closed, conferences canceled and kids kept home from school in an attempt to slow the spread. President Trump has declared a national emergency and invoked the Defense Production Act to accelerate the virus response.

The lives of millions of people in our region are undergoing radical change. There is quite simply a new reality.

Change can be stressful and confusing. There is what happens and how you respond to what happens.  Usually how you respond is more important. Your attitude is the one thing that keeps you in control. Try to remain upbeat, positive, and enthusiastic.

Here are some ways to deal with change in the workplace that can translate well to this new reality:

1: Empower employees to become part of the change.  There are several reasons people resist change, one of which is fear.  Many people play "Gee, what if" scenarios over and over when a new idea is proposed.  When you begin to implement your plan of action, it's essential that you invite those around you to identify how the change will influence them, benefit them, and improve their present situations.

2: Keep your employees informed.  Communicate as much as you know about what is happening as a result of the change.  One of the major reasons people resist change is fear of the unknown.  If you communicate with employees and keep them informed, you put this fear to rest.

3: Break the change down into digestible chunks.  If it makes it easier for employees, introduce the change gradually.  You can give employees encouragement and help them focus on small steps they can take to move toward the future.  Celebrate their small successes.

4: Answer the "What's in it for Me?" question.  This is similar to #1.  Generally, people will accept change when they see a personal benefit.  Employees who are involved in determining the benefits of change are less likely to resist it.  Assist employees in identifying what the change will do for them.

5: Give employees some control over change.  As employees begin to focus on the benefits of the desired change, provide them with the opportunity to control the steps to the change.  Participants in change workshops have revealed that having control reduces the anxiety and stress associated with the change implementation and increases their motivation to make the change.

6: Help employees assimilate the change.  Once employees begin to experience change, help them assimilate it by reinforcing the personal benefits they're gaining.

Change is one of the most difficult things for humans to readily accept. The sooner we learn to embrace it and work within it, the easier it will be to begin the next challenge that comes along. We naturally gravitate toward the things that make us feel fulfilled, safe and happy.

All of this … what’s happened already elsewhere in the world and what is happening now here, and whatever comes next … will give all of us the opportunity to display who we are. Let us hope that we are worthy of the challenge ahead of us.

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