For small or large operational changes to succeed, they require a focus on staff engagement. Engaging your employees is all about two-way communication. Employees should understand the need for changes, goals, and timelines, and how they will be affected. Explaining in person is the most effective way to encourage your staff to make suggestions that may improve the process and outcome. The article lists a variety of tools to help you communicate effectively with your employees.
Are you leading your team or organization through a difficult change? If so, these strategies can help you consider the different steps you need to take, in order to help your people understand the pressures for change, address their concerns, get their buy-in and communicate their role in making it successful.
Make it safe!
- Create an atmosphere of safety and trust.
- Enhance or maintain self-esteem.
- Encourage participation.
- Model the behaviors you are seeking.
You don’t have to agree, just understand.
- Give information and business reasons as completely as possible.
- View resistance as a natural and positive mechanism for sorting new information.
- Expect resistance and expression of emotion.
- Listen to and acknowledge others’ reality.
Take the time needed to get a commitment.
- Start from where they are and lead them to where they are going.
- Answer questions even if they have already been addressed; they may be asked from another point of view.
- Discuss the goals, reasons and impact of the change on people.
- Show compassion for their concerns and address their fears and barriers.
- Ask for and listen to alternative approaches to the same goal.
- Stay flexible with the methods and include inputs when possible.
To know you are on the right track, you must first see the track!
- Clarify the purpose and direction.
- Create a transition plan and set priorities.
- Develop success measures and a feedback system.
- Clarify roles, expectations, and risks.
- Provide training, incentives, and support.
- Follow the transition plan.
Only by knowing where you are, can you get to where you are going!
- Monitor progress regularly.
- Give feedback on progress.
- Involve people in making adjustments.
Desired behaviors will be repeated with acknowledgment and reward.
- Observe and acknowledge every milestone reached.
- Record every accomplishment.
- Celebrate successes.
- Recognize and reward contributions.
An excellent article about the myths we perpetuate about change:
- Organisations are like machines
- ‘Disruptive’ change can be managed like a project
- Myths about those who resist change
If we perpetuate these myths, failures will continue to follow.
3 Tips the article offers:
- Know your change: Adaptive Challenges require involving people throughout your organisation.
- Mind your language: Language matters. These changes occur when every day thinking changes. Thinking changes when the narrative changes, which requires a different language.
- Welcome your resistors: See resistance as something to be understood not overcome.
Max McKeown, stated, “Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win.” In this article, Matt Mayberry offers four important strategies to lead change:
1. Stay purpose driven
If you direct your focus on creating a culture high on purpose, the “how” will eventually present itself.
2. Communication must be constant
Leaders must communicate both from a technical standpoint and reinforce inspiration & acknowledgment of their people.
3. Invest in your people
The organizations that are passionate about developing & building their people win and come out on top.
4. Persist until you succeed
Persistence is the backbone of the organizations that thrive through extreme change.