Written by Miles Henson on 21 Jul 2014
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication really does matter, especially 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 guarantee that they are the first to know about the change before it happens. It can also provide them with an opportunity to feed into the process and ensure that it ticks like a precision clock.
2. Lead from the front
Great leaders are great communicators! Leaders who know how to unite people and inspire confidence in change as well as the process itself serve as an essential driving force, propelling change forward. By practicing what they preach, great leaders will gain the trust and respect from their employees as they lead the strategy.
3. Set expectations
Strike up an honest conversation with employees about exactly what change is essential, but of course maintain a degree of empathy for their personal feelings or circumstances. People prefer to be kept informed, so be clear on why the change is taking place and present the expected timeframe. That way everyone is on the same page and, importantly, included in the conversation.
4. Actively listen
People need to know you are listening to them and truly considering their thoughts, opinions and concerns. Sooner or later, you will pick up some very insightful suggestions or points of view that could help you implement the transition more smoothly, overcome any issues or even uncover ideas to make the change even more successful.
5. Act on feedback
Once you have taken feedback on board, you must take action and deliver on your promises (or explain why it is not possible to do so). Sometimes a seemingly minor concept can make a real difference to staff and stakeholders reaction to change. This is why it is so important not to overlook anything as it can have an immensely positive (or negative) impact upon the future of your business.
6. Engage and collaborate
When employees feel included within the change management process, and have an opportunity to participate, it encourages everyone to take ownership. Collaboration can inspire immense creativity and a true sense of camaraderie and teamwork - true collaboration creates a chain reaction and encourages everyone to pull 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 change within the organisation. Getting the right people on board is essential. Individuals who are natural leaders within teams can really make a positive impact on success. Individuals who encourage others to get involved are essential, as a deep understanding of the process, the reason(s) behind the change and company vision is vital; particularly as the workforce grows and gains momentum.
8. Build relationships
Business is all about fostering great relationships – this is imperative in times of change. If you are looking to acquire a new company, try to embrace the culture and incorporate it into your own. Be inclusive and find out what excites and motivates staff. Strong relationships help people feel part of the organisation and become invested in its future.
9. Take a systems approach
As a business rapidly expands and grows, it can often become a more complex organisation. This means that solid frameworks, processes, and systems need to be addressed before change takes place; along with a plan of how it will be managed. This will help to minimise any negative impact upon performance due to new ways of working. Taking a proactive systems approach will also ensure that the change is sustainable in the long term.
10. Value your people
People really are an organisation’s most valuable asset so grasp 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, develop their skills by offering them new projects to work on, or give all employees an opportunity to meet on social nights out or at company events. Being creative and agile in your approach is the best way of achieving lasting change that yields substantial results.
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