What Is the Manager Role and Responsibility in Implementing Change Within the Department?

Change can bring about anxiety. Experiencing angst is especially common in the workplace, because change in this form can affect someone's livelihood and future. Managers play a significant role in calming fears that arise when implementing alterations. They should be proactive in informing their department about what differences are on the horizon and how they will affect their jobs. Following procedures for implementing change can save a lot of trouble down the line.

Inform Employees

One of the manager's roles in making changes to a department is keeping the employees informed of what's going on. As workers start to become suspicious that adjustments are on the horizon, rumors spread. It is the manager's responsibility to release information as necessary so employees don't become overly anxious. For example, workers may start to sense that their benefits will decrease because of slight changes to what is offered. It is better to give the employees as much information up front as possible before they make up worst-case scenarios about losing all their benefits.

No Favorites

When changes are imminent within the department, it's critical for managers to address issues of fairness. Imagine a family where one sibling is jealous that another sibling received a favor. Feelings in the workplace can be similar. If one group of employees is perceived to gain benefits over another because of alterations, there can be angst and disruption. Managers must do their best to dissuade feelings of unfairness. One way to accomplish this is to have a town hall meeting where all employees can voice their opinion and give input about the recently implemented change that was perceived as unfair.

Support the Team

Managers also play a vital role in supporting their department through change. In addition to providing adequate information, employees need appropriate resources available to them to ease the transition. For example, if the department is about to be assigned a big account that will significantly change the workload, provide current workers with adequate support to handle this difference. Assure them that management's door is always open to suggestions, and bring in extra manpower where needed. Managers may also need to promote assistant managers from within to help supervise the additional duties.

Manage Well

One of the best ways managers can implement change within the department is to make sure they are using good management techniques. Supervisors need to be careful that they are neither over- or under-managing the situation. Micromanagement techniques used to implement change only further frustrates employees. Reward programs are a good strategy for managers to use for having alterations create a positive a positive effect.