When a company goes through a transition period, it’s never easy, no matter what the reasons were for change in the first place. Whether you’re restructuring for improvement or have new financial or regulatory requirements imposed on your business, the bottom line is that you will need to model good leadership to take your people with you on the journey.
Your company has its own unique culture. Staff are used to their own workplace arrangements and work habits, and social structures in the office will have been developed over time. When you implement change, you disrupt all of these things. It can lead to resentment and resistance if you don't engage staff and lead them through it.
As a leader, you need to closely manage change to reduce any anxiety your employees are experiencing so they can continue to perform, and go on to kick goals in the future.
Unfortunately, change management programs can fail when good strategies to lead change are not in place. A 2013 Strategy & Katzenback Center survey of global senior executives found the success rate of major change initiatives was only 54 per cent. The cost to your business if this happens isn’t just financial, you waste resources, people power and deplete morale.
That isn’t to say you shouldn't try for change at all. Change is daunting, but is often necessary, and should be made for sound reasons, not just for the sake of it. Without change your business can stagnate. If you’re about to go through change, these elements of leadership are critical:
1. Have a plan
Make sure you identify the areas of your business that need to be changed, and map out a plan about how you will achieve and implement the changes.
2. Plan how you will communicate
Develop an internal communications strategy to guide how you will keep your staff informed throughout the change management process.
3. Select the right internal communications tools for the job
When communicating with staff, utilize the various internal communications channels you have at your disposal, for example newsletters, emails, workplace meetings and posters. A great way to make sure you are reaching all staff with consistent messaging is DeskAlerts – a powerful internal communications solution that lets you send messages direct to every staff member’s PC desktop in a way that cannot me ignored or missed.
4. Stay in touch with staff
Don’t just announce change once and expect that will be enough. You need to keep engaged with staff throughout the journey, both to keep momentum going and also to be there to answer questions and give guidance while transition is at play.
5. Be prepared for criticisim
Resistance and questions from staff are an inevitable part of the change process. You need to be prepared that not everyone is going to be thrilled with change, and be ready to address this. Have patience and give them time to understand and come to terms with the change.