You are ready to make changes in your company, and you need your team to be on board with moving toward these changes. However, often change is obstructed by deeply held emotions. Identifying pessimism, anger, panic, insecurity, arrogance, cynicism, and anxiety when it exists, and replacing it with more positive emotions like trust, confidence, optimism, urgency, passion and enthusiasm turns the tide. Help your team through this process and let them know that these changes are being put in place to help grow the company.
Listed below are a few tips to help your team through this process.
- Your job in leading change is to recognize the obstacles that stand in the way of your team achieving change and ensuring that you encourage and reward transformational progress, and identify and remove impediments and resistance to change when it occurs, immediately. Don’t let the team fail!
- Work closely with the change leadership team to draft a powerful vision and paint a picture for the rest of the organization of the types of positive changes the team has in mind. The vision must be confidently inspiring and focus on positive outcomes of change.
- Refine the message about change, assuming the reaction will be fear, cynicism, anxiety and negativity. When prepared, communicate the vision confidently and proactively, with candor and clarity. Congruently match company actions and investments with company expectations.
- Build momentum by intentionally shooting for some quick successes early on. These successes will validate the initial work of the leadership team, and stir and stoke the embers of initial change. Keep the team focused on fewer primary goals, rather than many. Too many goals will distract and frustrate the team by overwhelming them.
- Once the forward change momentum has begun, you will need to help the team understand that the job is not complete, until it is complete. Leverage the positive early results as fuel to reignite the urgency of your change campaign and reinforce the high level of importance.
- Should the team begin to show signs of distress or begin to suffer from urgency overload or exhaustion, you must immediately introduce the remedy by simplifying their work, or lightening the load of the work. Re-prioritize if called for, and reduce any busy work so the team can re-energize and re-focus.
- Communicate at every step along the journey consistently and positively, and at every phase of the change. This will make an enormous difference in every change project. Communicate before you start. Communicate again when progress begins to be made. Communicate again when the going gets tough. Communicate again to remind the troops how much progress they’ve made and how close to the end of the journey they are. And communicate the details of the celebration when the journey has been completed.
- Timing, they say, is everything. Be sensitive to the collective morale of the team, and the calendar when you plan for a significant strategic change initiative. Laying a substantial extra workload on your team when they are already struggling, or asking the team to work 20-30 extra hours per week during the holidays is questionable at best. True, sometimes you may not have an alternative, but use common sense and don’t add an extra challenge to an already tough situation when you have a choice.
Any change can be tough for people, but most times they are necessary. Handling change correctly can make a huge impact on the outcome of these changes. I hope the above information has helped you make your next change now!