Change and strategic adaptation is a challenge at the best of times. Motivating change in senior long serving staff can be an even more delicate and challenging task.
These employees may have a strong attachment to the way things have been done in the past, and may be resistant to change, even if traditional working methods had been successful in the past. These staff may require training in new areas that they may be unfamiliar with such as technology. However, here are some strategies that can be effective in motivating change. It’s important to map out the considerations below to assist senior long serving staff visual the path of change ahead.
1. Build trust: Building trust is crucial when working with senior staff. Take the time to get to know them and their concerns, and demonstrate that you respect their expertise and experience.
2. Communicate the vision: Communicate a clear vision for the change you are proposing. Explain how it will benefit the department/organisation and its stakeholders, and be transparent about the impact it may have on existing processes.
3. Provide time, training and support: Provide the necessary training schedule and support to ensure that senior staff have the skills and knowledge they need to successfully implement the change.
4. Involve them in the process: Involve senior staff in the change process, seeking their input and feedback along the way. This can help to build buy-in and ensure that the change reflects the needs of the department/organisation and its stakeholders.
5. Celebrate successes: Celebrate successes along the way, recognising the contributions of senior staff to the change effort. Can a senior team member win employee of the month? Can a senior team member achieve promotion after training? Celebrating the successes of your senior team members can build momentum and maintain motivation over the long term.
6. Address concerns: Address any concerns or resistance that senior staff may have, and be open to feedback and suggestions. Work collaboratively to find solutions that address these concerns while still moving the change forward.
Overall, motivating change in senior long serving staff requires a patient, collaborative approach. By building trust, communicating a clear vision, providing training time and support, involving them in the process, celebrating successes, and addressing concerns, you can help to overcome resistance and motivate senior staff to embrace change.
If you’re a senior team member and you don’t feel that change in your department is being managed in a way that helps you, print this off and go and have a chat with your manager.