Whether welcome or dreaded, a change requires the ability to adjust and adapt. Last week we gave you some tips that can help you cope with change. Today, we’ll talk about what leaders can do to support their team as they undergo a change in the workplace.
As we discussed, the waters of change breed confusion, fear, and anxiety, even as there may also be excitement and optimism about what lies ahead. As a leader, you’ll want to be proactive about what your team needs as they swim in this sea. By doing so, you’ll be able to bring them onboard to the new way more quickly and keep them motivated to achieving the new goal.
As a leader, you have the opportunity to be a helpful anchor amid turbulent waters.
The following tips can help:
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. When there is a void of information, people will fill in the blanks, usually with a negative scenario. For this reason, it’s important to establish regular and frequent channels of communication. This should include the reasons for the change, how it will benefit the company, and how it will benefit them. In addition, be transparent about what you don’t know and do your best to get answers to their questions.
2. Build in time for team members to react. There may be shock, denial, frustration, fear, depression. This is to be expected. Allowing time and space for staff to have these reactions is an important part of the change process. Rushing through this uncomfortable phase will only slow down the process of integration.
3. Highlight staff strengths and incorporate them in the transition. Reminding staff of what they bring to the work and showing how those same skills will be needed in the transition offers a helpful way for them to orient to the new situation and enhance their motivation to make the transition a success.
4. Check in frequently. Different people will have different reactions at different points in the change process. Even after the change is well underway, touch base with individual staff members to determine what additional support they may need.
5. Celebrate successes. Acknowledge both the big and small accomplishments that are achieved throughout the transition. Recognize the extra work that your staff put in to make those happen and reward their efforts.
The most effective company changes happen as part of a larger change management strategy. Getting outside help to create this strategy can make all the difference.
If your company is undergoing a change, contact G2 Solutions to help guide the process.
Image credit Jeremy Bishop