When was the last time you experienced times of change at work? How did you feel during the process? Do you remember a time when you felt like a key driver of change and a time where you felt excluded from the process? How you felt during the transformation process is a likely indicator for how successful and lasting the overall change in strategy actually was.
Is it now up to you to adopt a new strategy at work? Change directions? With your own past experiences in mind, how do you get the whole team on board to see a collective change in behaviour towards the desired outcome? Ideally without leaving anyone behind.
Before we look at the solutions, let’s look at what often goes wrong.
See if you can identify similarities with times of change when you as an employee felt excluded from the process and felt quite indifferent about the new strategy.
Does the following sound familiar?
Your employees are left to work out what is going on. Some might be too afraid to ask. Your employees simply don’t know what the new priorities are, why they matter and why their work is not appreciated anymore. They won’t know what the problem is, but will assume the worst. Whispers will hit the corridors and there will be a drop in general productivity.
The above scenario results in a high degree of demotivation, tension and potential mutiny amongst employees. Projects will start to fall apart. The best people might leave.
Worst outcome as a leader: You let the ship sink.
To avoid the above in the first place, you, the leader, need to give your employees the chance to respond and support the change in strategy.
Your employees are your No.1 asset for successfully navigating through times of change. You can convert a potential crisis into an opportunity for growth, innovation and success.
Remember the time you felt included and empowered during a change process? How do you achieve this as a leader?
Encourage your employees to come up with solutions and concrete steps to achieve the desired outcome. Share the responsibility. Otherwise what is the point of having a reliable, diverse and motivated crew?
I have found that showing vulnerability and asking my employees for ideas and support has given everyone a chance to contribute to shared success.
If everyone contributes to success, everyone gets to claim it for themselves too.
If you are on the receiving end during times of change and are not seeing any of the above from your boss or leadership team, have the courage to ask for clarification to remain motivated. State how important this is for you to be able to do your job well. Any good leader will recognize the importance of such a request and will act on it promptly.
A good leader will always recognize the importance of employee motivation.
Leading your team through times of change successfully is not easy. But if you do it well, the rewards will all be worth it.
Great leaders shine in times of change.
Thank you for reading! If you feel this is a message worth spreading, please share it with other leaders.