Businesses constantly undergo change. Some changes are more anticipated, such as welcoming a new member into the team. Other changes, however, can come as a surprise. An example of such would be the sudden shift in work environments due to the pandemic. Working in change management, I have seen first-hand how easily change can go wrong, especially when there are no plans in place should employees resist particular transformations.
The biggest impact I have come across in my years of experience working across a diverse range of industries, is how poor leadership and management during these periods often leave employees feeling disengaged, deflated and exhausted. In more instances than one, this has skyrocketed turnover or slowed productivity, which can impact business continuity and profitability.
For those business owners who leave change leadership strategies to the last minute, this often means long term impacts to productivity, loss of valuable staff, staff morale and wellbeing as well as the bottom line.
While there are endless examples of how change in businesses has gone wrong, studies prove that it can also go exceptionally right. These case studies always revolve around top management. They explain that for change to be successful, it needs to be led from the top.
So, whether you’re a business owner, manager or key decision maker in a company, it is up to you to inspire the change you want to see in your workplace. Here’s how you can do it.
Communicate with your team
If your staff are anticipating change or know that new processes are in the works, they may be feeling nervous or on edge. Speaking to the team clearly and articulating what will happen can help ease any stress or anxiety. A good change leader will go a step further in their management process. They will also explain the reason behind these changes. When employees understand why procedures or protocols may need tweaking, they are more likely to accept them, which leads to transformation success.
Collaborate with employees
At Esther Leader of Change, I am passionate about teaching business owners how valuable their employees can be during this time. Asking their opinion about new strategies and seeking feedback can help them appreciate that everyone is in the same position. Implementing their strategies or developing new methods based on their ideas can also help them take a sense of ownership over the change. This will make them less likely to resist new practices, procedures and protocols when implemented.
Commit to the change first
Before employees can embrace change, they need to see you doing so successfully. If they notice that you are not fully behind the change or able to adapt yourself, they are also likely to reject it and revert to old ways. Taking confidence and committing to what you have implemented shows that you are leading by example. It is much more likely to inspire your employees to do the same.
Regardless of the change you are implementing, this can be difficult, especially if you haven’t done so before. If you need assistance in keeping your workforce high-performing and efficient, even during uncertain periods, I am always happy to help. Get in touch with me today to get started.