In the modern business climate, the need to negotiate with your employees can come up often. Changes in job descriptions, working hours, office configurations and many other reasons can all lead to the need to stand before your employees and inspire them to get behind a change to procedure or a new project. The business environment is fluid, but employees can find this alarming and as a manager, your duty is to reconcile the needs of the business with the attitudes of your employees to produce a good result for your company.
Before you approach your employees with a new change, spend some time thinking about how that change will affect them. All too often, what seems just a minor thing to you, can have a major impact on your employees. A simple half hour shift of opening times can affect not only their commute to work but their child care and school arrangements, their carpooling as well as their volunteer activities. A simple change for you is then a massive re-adjustment for them. Thinking of these things in advance can help you to present changes to your employees in a considerate manner. This approach eases stress and smoothes the way for the coming changes not to mention minimizing loss of productivity along the way.
Whenever possible, hold a series of consultation meetings before instituting the change. The number of meetings required would be determined by the immensity of the change. Give as much advance notice as possible to allow for employee feedback. When you ask for opinions, you not only get a chance to know what your employees are thinking, but you also show them that you are concerned about them and that you care about their happiness.. Many times the feedback received during these sessions can help you to make the change in a more effective manner. One of the most important things to communicate to your employees in times of stress and change, is the fact that they are a valued asset of the business. It is important to remember that how they fare in the morale department will have a great influence on the fluidity of the transition.
When it is important to make changes for business improvement the deployment of those changes is critical. Most changes in business are decided on at the top and communicated down the management line. Most effective change happens from the bottom up. Your job as manager is to get your employees committed to the proposed change. If they are resistant to the change the entire project can be delayed or even fail. This is why good negotiating skills are a must in introducing change to your company.