key-240px-476392220Studies show that staff members and managers can be greatly resistant to change, whether it be a major restructuring or a simple change in the color of the office. It may feel like an over-reaction, but to some employees change can suggest an invasion of turf. They might worry that new procedures or equipment will make it more difficult to do their usual tasks or increase their workloads.

And above all, staff members worry about job security. Big changes can make employees fearful of losing their jobs.

As a Maine-based small business owner, however, you will find that change is unavoidable as your company grows. Here are six keys to harmony and resilience during transitions:

Announce. Tell employees about the general plan, letting them know why it’s necessary. It may be best to tell them either individually or in small groups.

Accentuate. When talking with your staff, emphasize all the positive things that are happening with the changes. And while you want to answer all questions honestly and thoroughly, minimize any negatives that could happen.

Practice. Overcome staff doubts and suspicions by using tests and trials of any new equipment or systems.

Participate. Always try to get as many employees as possible involved in the planning and executing of changes. Ask their opinions and to point out potential problems.

Monitor. Be around to make sure that the planned changes proceed as expected, and to deal with any unanticipated problems.

Review. After all the changes have been made, schedule a review to ensure that the changes went into effect as planned and that nothing is undercutting the effort. Compare results with expectations. Be prepared to make alterations.

Take these steps to plan and discuss changes to your small business, and your employees will have a much smoother transition to any changes that are happening, with fewer negative responses.