Change is not typically a word that excites people. So, how can leaders manage change successfully when their people are not always excited to execute? The most effective way to change our organizations and achieve better results is to alter the approach we take—including the types of conversations we have, the behaviors we model and the processes for getting things done.
When it comes to guiding your business and employees through a period of significant change, clear and focused communication is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Ultimately, you must be capable of communicating change to two very distinct audiences. The first consists of your employees and team members: These individuals need to understand the need for change, as well as how it will impact their job responsibilities. You must also recognize the importance of listening to their concerns so you can assuage any fears they may have. Despite realizing that change is necessary, employees are often afraid of big changes in the organization, preferring the dissatisfaction of the status quo to the risks of a new reality. Often, the most important thing a manager can do is not identify the need for change, but provoke the momentum to begin and maintain the change.
Adjust or Set New Performance Objectives
Organizations need to translate changes into performance appraisal, assessment, compensation, and promotion cycles quickly. Employees in a time of uncertainty will want to know how the changes will affect the way they are evaluated. These changes need to be articulated well before the performance period begins whenever possible. Managing workplace change is often daunting for HR staffs to oversee, especially in smaller organizations.
Focus On Managers
Managers are critical to keeping employees engaged and productive and can be instrumental in helping leaders manage change. Managers are also, unfortunately, the most overlooked group in an organization when it comes to developing the skills that make the difference between change failure and success. These include communicating, interpersonal skills, team building and coaching. If managers can’t operationalize the desired changes, then the total investment and effort will be sub-optimized. Managers must understand the strategy and then translate it in a way that is relevant for each employee.