How to Help Your Team Manage Emotions During Organizational Change

Posted February 13, 2019

5 min read

Implementing change at your funeral home?

If so, have you thought about the psychology of change and how that might affect employees?

You may have created a strategic plan for change, but it’s the psychological side of change that can be forgotten.

Here are 4 ways you can be proactive about helping employees manage their emotions during times of change:

1. Expect there to be some degree of turmoil.

We all know that change can be difficult. It’s one thing to recognize change is going to be hard, and it’s another to actually plan for it to be challenging.

Once you realize that any sort or organizational change is going to come with ups and downs—and lots of emotions from people along the way—you’ve already had a breakthrough. Emotions aren’t inherently negative, and they shouldn’t be ignored; rather, it’s about identifying and channeling emotions so we respond appropriately.

To discern some of the areas for potential tension, consider:

  • Who can help you advocate for change? (This might be a “champion” for change.)
  • Who will likely be most affected? How can you help them?
  • What are some of the things people are going to dislike during this change? What can we do to lessen that discomfort?
  • How will you go about getting feedback or input throughout this process?
  • Where are you at now with your current processes?
  • Where exactly will you need to be once the change has occurred?
  • What are the first barriers you envision having? And how can those be overcome?

2. Communicate more than you think you need to.

You never know what insecurities, misperceptions, or motives someone is going to have when they hear news about the changes that are needed in your funeral home.

Be ready for a range of emotions when you first deliver any sort of news about implementing change to your staff. Come from a place of understanding and empathy as you deliver the news to them.

In addition, make sure anyone else who will end up receiving questions is equipped to provide thoughtful, informed answers as soon as you break the news. If they don’t have thought-out answers or enough context when people turn to them with questions, people can quickly start to feel uneasy, distrustful, or they can jump to conclusions.

Once you are beyond the initial announcement, continue to talk about the change to show how important it is. That may be through email, phone calls, larger meetings, or one-on-one check-ins. It may feel like you are over-communicating, but you probably aren’t.

3. Don’t tolerate any gossip.

Gossip that happens during any transition or change initiative is extremely detrimental; in fact, it’s an unproductive way of dealing with emotions and feelings.

Gossip is so damaging that it can completely hold back the success of your project. It spreads negativity, it destroys trust, and it’s an unhealthy way of coping. Gossip also divides people during a time where cohesiveness is depended upon.

It’s a good idea to make sure people know gossip of any form won’t be tolerated—whether you are listening to it, or the one gossiping! Take steps to define what gossiping truly is so that there is no confusion on how it will be defined. Altogether, this can help people think twice about “venting” or saying anything that can be harmful or counterproductive to the change you’re looking to implement.

4. Allow team members to express their feelings.

Gossip is often a way of channeling emotions. The problem is, it’s destructive in nature. In contrast, there is a way to have a healthy discussion about emotions and feelings that can be constructive and productive.

Providing a space for people to express their feelings can help cut down on an overflow of emotions that tends to happen if people feel the need to show no emotion.

Try to figure out the source of your own emotions. If you are fearful, how come? If you are frustrated, what’s really causing you to feel that way? Self-awareness is key to recognizing, labeling, and then appropriately dealing with emotions.

During your open feedback sessions, remind your employees that conflict doesn’t have to be avoided, either. Healthy conflict can reduce emotions that aren’t healthy. It can build trust and it can help address thoughts and feelings people have early-on, instead of letting those emotions build-up and become larger issues.

Last, healthy debate and discussion—done out in the open—can help problem-solving happen more quickly. Just be sure to keep the focus on the issues, not on people.

Helping Your Funeral Home Embrace Change

CRäKN’s customer success team knows the pressure people often feel when it comes to adopting new tools. That’s why your dedicated customer success team helps you and your team feel confident every step of the way. This includes steps, strategies, and milestones to make sure we can help support your business’ growth.

Want to learn more about CRäKN’s efficiency tools? Request a demo of CRaKN today.

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