When an organisation experiences change it can be tough to retain a culture that evolves and embraces everyone. Ten top tips for successfully managing change and engaging staff during these times are:
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication really does matter if you want to win the hearts and minds of your team and encourage people to get behind the change. By communicating openly with employees, not only can you reassure them where possible, you can ensure that they are the first to know about the change before it happens. It also provides them with an opportunity to feed into the process to help make the change work.
2. Lead from the front
Great leaders are great communicators who know how to unite everyone and inspire confidence in the change as well as the process itself. By practicing what they preach, leaders will gain trust and respect from their employees as they drive the change forward.
3. Set expectations
An honest conversation with employees of exactly what will change is essential, whilst having empathy for their personal feelings or circumstances. People prefer to know what to expect so be clear on why the change is taking place and the expected time frame.
4. Actively listen
People need to know you are listening to them and really taking their thoughts into consideration. In so doing you will pick up some very valid points that could help you implement change more smoothly, overcome any issues or even uncover ideas to make the change even more successful.
5. Act on feedback
Once you have taken on board the feedback you must take action and deliver on your promises (or explain why it is not possible to do so). Sometimes the seemingly minor things can make a real difference to people so it is important not to overlook this as it can have an immensely positive impact.
6. Engage and collaborate
When employees feel included in the change process and have an opportunity to participate, it encourages everyone to take ownership. Collaboration can open up immense creativity and a true sense of camaraderie and teamwork that propels everyone through the change, all pulling in the same direction.
7. Identify willing ambassadors
If you have successfully communicated the change and collaborated with your employees it should be easier to attract ambassadors to help drive the change within the organisation. Getting the right people on board who are natural leaders within the team can really impact success and encourage others to get involved as understanding throughout the workforce grows and gains momentum.
8. Build relationships
Business is all about fostering great relationships – and this is really imperative in times of change. Be inclusive, find out what excites and motivates people. Strong relationships help people feel part of the organisation and feel invested in its future.
9. Take a systems approach
As a business grows rapidly, it can often become more complex. This means that frameworks, processes, and systems need to be addressed before the change takes place, along with a plan of how it will be managed. This will help to minimise any impact on performance due to new ways of working and ensure that the change is sustainable in the long term.
10. Value your people
People really are an organisation’s most valuable asset so look for every opportunity to inspire, motivate and make change a positive experience. Think about new ways to reward employees, make small gestures that show you appreciate their input and develop their skills by offering them new projects to work on. Being creative and agile in your approach is the best way of achieving lasting change that yields big results.