Friday, 20 April 2012

How To Successfully Lead A Team Through The Difficult Process Of Change

Managing and leading employees through any form of change in an organisation can be a challenging, difficult and even unpleasant task. What change entails might even be misunderstood, as the video clip below shows, but leading a team through the process of change can be mastered…

In our globalised and interconnected economy, organisations deal with continually shifting market conditions, customer demands, technologies, input costs and competition. Organisations must continually adapt and ask questions such as: ‘How can we improve our strategy, tactics and business plan? And what can be improved upon in order to reach our long terms business goals?’ 

The biggest problem relating to initiating change in organisations, whether it be changes to the organisation, employees moving to different departments or taking on different roles, new systems being introduced or just a different way of doing things, is people don’t like change. People have been used to doing things in a specific way for a certain period of time. People are in general adverse to change and don’t like being told you now have to do things differently to what you have been doing up until now.

But surely change can be managed successfully? As the leader who has to manage the change, you have a difficult task ahead, but ensure the following and it will ease the process and lead to the change being implemented successfully faster:

  1. Communicate why the change is necessary. Talk to your team and make sure they have a very clear understanding of why things need to change, how they need to change and how the change will be implemented and followed through. 
  2. Give your team the opportunity to contribute, make suggestions and allow them to get involved in the decision making process. 
  3. Facilitate and encourage questions to eliminate any uncertainty which will in turn reinstate confidence in their work and in themselves. 
  4. Celebrate any successes and goals accomplished during the change process. Employees need to feel valued and should be thanked for the work they’ve done and their willingness to adapt to the change. 
  5. Reiterate why the change is necessary and how it will benefit the company. Always have an open and clear communication channel, when there is a communication vacuum employees wonder what is going on and will feel left out. They might even think their manager is plotting something. 
  6. Be as transparent as possible. 

Remember: Change is less scary when you are leading the change, making the decisions and monitoring the progress. When you are in the driver’s seat you are in control. But always consider your passengers and try and make their journey as pleasant as possible.

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