Nothing grinds my gears more than getting hit with a big change out of the blue. A brand-new product? A huge partnership? Management changes that directly affect me?
“Wish our leaders involved me a bit.”
Hate to break it to you, business owners and executives, but pretty much everyone on your team thinks this from time to time – even if the change shouldn’t really involve them.
Make change a good thing for your team with these three techniques.
Create an Inspiring Vision
Teams that go through constant shifts need a clear picture of where they’re going. Always tell your team members what you know, including the why and how. If you don’t know or can’t disclose yet, start with a narrative that clearly articulates the “big picture” – why you need to change and why it aligns with the long-term vision. Every change or pivot should start with the vision in mind.
Your narrative must start with the company’s core mission statement and end with a compelling and inspirational future vision. You want everyone to know how the changes you make today assist everyone in achieving long-term goals.
This will eliminate stress for both you and your team.
Use a Communication Cadence
Great companies never go through only one change – therefore, you must keep employees informed every step of the way. If you miss out on making a key communication, they will feel left out and unimportant (and start looking for careers where they won’t feel left out). Studies have shown that constant communication is a key factor in the success of any transformation. When thinking about your “communication cadence”, keep the principles in mind:
Consistency: We call these “RICHuals” at ActionCOACH. Do you have weekly meetings that consistently cover new changes? If you can create a rhythm of new changes and decisions, you won’t catch your employees by surprise as much
Focus on what you know: Don’t blow smoke up people’s you know what, but also don’t act clueless. Keep the focus as narrowed as possible, and be honest with your employees. Make sure to let them know that you will follow up if you don’t have a key answer.
Don’t forget to articulate the WIFM: “What’s in it for me?” When people have a WIFM, they commit. Give your team an opportunity to own the change.
Creatively Engage Your Employees Amidst Change
Solicit feedback and include people in the decision-making process. This encourages employees to get involved, making them more inclined to support and even champion it.
Individuals that embrace change and display desired behaviors should be recognized. This not only rewards people who model your points of culture, but it also allows the entire business to participate in the process.
For example, we have a weekly O.A.R award we give out to the employee who best displays Ownership, Accountability, and Responsibility. It can get pretty crazy at the Buji office, and this award gives our team the opportunity to take ownership of every change that comes our way.
Never assume employees understand the changes your company makes. Next time you tackle a change project, think through how you can engage, inspire, and empower your most powerful advocates (your team) – and effectively lead your company into new ventures.
Ready to master team-building and engagement? Do so with the ultimate accountability – and a suite of over 1,000 business coaches who have supported business owners in every change imaginable. Talk with one of our coaches, or reach out to us for your complimentary strategy session.