Whether it’s a new leader, or a big budget cut, or even a funding increase, governments live in a state of constant change. Change for the sake of change is a bad idea, but there are ways to make needed changes easier on everyone. Here are some ideas.
1. Treat people, the organization and the process with respect. Explain why change is needed, what the goal is, and what success will look like.
2. Make it clear that the goal is continuous improvement, which is the best way to achieve quality performance. The change at hand is one step in a process that will continue.
3. Nurture people within your organization by working with them directly and giving them tasks beyond their usual set of responsibilities. As a way to reach more people, evaluate your training program and participation in professional organizations to instill motivation for personal improvement.
4. Celebrate achievements in the process of continuous improvement as a way to keep the process moving forward. Make sure your employee recognition program is accomplishing the goal of recognizing effort that goes above and beyond expectations.
5. Lead by example. When staff members see an emphasis on change as continuous improvement, they’ll look for ways to reframe their own work in that light. And make change part of the planning process by asking managers to create a current improvement plan.
By conveying an expectation for continuous improvement, and setting up a framework to encourage it, leaders can create an environment in which change is sought after, valued and constant.