Change can throw your team for a loop if it isn’t handled the right way. It’s up to those in leadership roles to support and guide others during the turbulent transition period. Use these strategies to help your team thrive as you navigate organizational changes.
Does your team understand the core vision and focus of the company? A clear statement of the company’s culture and workplace values should be behind everything you do, including the decisions you make during times of change.
• Maintaining high quality for products and services
• Committing to honesty in business dealings
• Providing stellar customer service
• Offering support to fellow team members
• Adhering to company rules and policies
When employees always know what’s expected of them, they have something solid to focus on and have an easier time staying on task.
Creating a “big picture” mindset helps your team make sense of what the turmoil often associated with change. Explain the reasoning behind the changes and how the leadership hopes the business will benefit. You may be expanding or paring down product lines, developing new services or pushing into an unfamiliar market, any of which has the potential to improve sales and drive growth.
Setting an ultimate goal makes it easier to outline the direction you want your team to go and how you plan to get there. It gives everyone a reason to push through confusion and something to work toward if they start to feel overwhelmed or uncertain.
When uncertainty does arise, let employees know you’re willing to listen. Some team members will inevitably question the changes, and others may have valuable insights you haven’t yet considered. Listening can open doors for strategic collaboration between departments and bring useful tools and tactics to your attention.
Even as a leader, you don’t know every detail of what’s going on behind the scenes, and giving employees a chance to weigh in can help the company avoid costly mistakes as changes are implemented. Ask for feedback, and take a proactive stance to address potential problems the team brings to your attention.
Breaking the major goal of your company’s changes into manageable tasks ensures no one gets bogged down or overwhelmed. Group your employees into teams headed by people with the right knowledge and talents to handle each assignment, and delegate responsibilities between the groups. Set deadlines for each assignment, and check in at reasonable intervals to monitor progress. Doing this not only involves your employees in the process of change right from the start but also shows you trust them to handle difficult tasks without being micromanaged.
Don’t let change derail your team. Prepare them for what’s coming, and keep a level head when dealing with unexpected challenges. When you model good leadership and remain available to answer questions and address concerns, the whole team will come out stronger.