Change Management Concept on the Mechanism of Shiny Metal Gears.

Be it new cleaning tasks, equipment requirements, contract structures or more, every corner of the commercial cleaning industry has experienced some degree of change over the past 2-plus years. While some changes are easier to adapt to than others, many employees will go through a series of emotions or reactions throughout the process. To help managers prepare, Lolly Daskal outlined four common stages employees go through when a business announces significant changes. 

Stage 1: Shock. This can also come in a package deal with feelings of denial. While conversations may be difficult and tough questions addressed, managers should take those opportunities head-on. Take the initiative to let employees know you are available to discuss any issues they may have. If an open-book approach is established from the onset, it can qualm fears. 

Stage 2: Fear. As soon as any major changes are announced, employees will naturally go to the next step of wondering how it will affect them individually. Be it a threat to their job status, extra tasks they aren't trained on or adjustments they simply don't agree with, it's best for managers to allow employees to vent and express themselves (within reason). Bottled up emotions can be inevitable if employees feel they can't share their thoughts. 

Stage 3: Acceptance. Most employees, whether they are happy with the change or not, will eventually accept it for what it is. Some will toe the line a bit and see what they can get away with doing under a new set of rules or policies — potentially leading to a temporary dip in productivity — and the best thing managers can do regardless is to ensure employees are well-versed in what the changes will bring, and provide plenty of chances for them to get accustomed. 

Step 4: Transformation. As time goes on, most of the venting, testing of boundaries and general frustration will go to the wayside. It's from here where managers can reinforce the good components of the change and where employees can seek valuable opportunities.

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