you want to enforce unpopular measures, referring to the legal situation is not
always the best way of going about it. You will often achieve your objectives
better with a mixture of pressure and persuasion. This is what you should do:
1. Present the positive aspects of the
If you present measures as being advantageous for the employees, you already
weaken their resistance considerably in advance. For example, if you are
changing a job description, you could phrase it so that the employee feels
upgraded. The more obvious the benefits
of your measures are, the more difficult it is for individual employees to
oppose them. Don't just mention the advantages for the company, otherwise you
could raise suspicions that you only want to achieve this at your employees'
2. Involve those who are concerned at an
If jobs are being redistributed, you can ensure better acceptance by involving
the employees who are concerned at an early stage in the process.
3. Make common ground clear
Sometimes you yourself have no influence over decisions, although you have to
carry out and represent the measures (e.g. due to instructions from the
management board). In this case, you should make the situation transparent and make
it clear that you and your employees "are in the same boat".
4. Precise analysis of the situation
Only if you know the employees concerned well and how they feel about the
situation are you able to estimate and cushion any potentially negative reactions.
Some things that you believe are absolutely clear can be deceptive and unjust
in your employees' eyes. Therefore,
consider your planned actions from the aspect of the employees who are
affected. For instance, you can expect
resistance from an employee who was moved just a year ago if you plan to move
5. Isolate troublemakers
With some employees any form of persuasion is futile: they are against
everything on principle. You should systematically isolate these
troublemakers. Talk individually with
your team's opinion leaders and then discuss the subject in a team
meeting. Describe the measures you plan
to take and then ask each employee that you expect to agree with you for their
opinion. If they come up with constructive proposals, accept these positively
and thank the employees for their input. In many cases, this creates a form of
group pressure which can also silence notorious troublemakers.
It diminishes your status
and management competency immensely if you announce measures and are then
unable to carry them out. The more uncertain you are, the more you should carry
out measures in agreement with your employees.