In short, it comes back to you. Never underestimate your influence in getting your employees to drive changes forward.
No matter what the change initiative is, your behavior as an organizational leader will affect individuals and the organization as a whole.
- Lead by example.
- Ensure that you model the change you want to see others adopt.
- Reinforce standards.
This can be as simple as being on time for meetings, prepared and ready to begin at the appointed time.
Share and reinforce the vision of the desired change
Remind people of where the organization is headed, and why it needs to move there. Sometimes that means:
- Repetition of why the present state of operation isn’t working.
- Continued visioning of future benefits to employees, and why they want to move toward those benefits.
- Being approachable and taking the time to hear and reassure employees that everything they’re feeling and going through is normal.
Reinforcement that moving forward is the right way to go, and letting employees know that there will be a brighter tomorrow builds confidence in change.
Your team, like your organization as a whole, is made up of individuals; motivational techniques that work on one person might fall flat with another.
Obviously, the more that people have in common the easier it is to find a technique that might appeal to the majority of the team — but there will always be some left outside of the circle.
Don’t let that happen
- Ask individuals (be they team members, sponsors, stakeholders, etc.) what they would like.
It might be recognition; it might be new education and training; it might be the challenge of a difficult but worthwhile project; or any number of things. Material gain is less often a critical factor in motivation than you would think, and the act of opening the line of communication in this way lets employees know they matter; this can be motivating in itself.
Beyond vocal or written interactions, communication is such a major factor in managing employees through a change initiative.
Part of a Change Integration solution involves learning the best way to communicate to your organization, which is as individual as the people that make it up.
We found in the discovery phase of one project affecting nearly 12,000 people that this particular client needed informal face to face communication on a larger scale. The solution turned out to be putting a muffin kiosk in the lobby of the main building and presenting people coming into the lobby with a muffin, courtesy of our project.
Something seemingly so simple helped communicate:
- Awareness of the project.
- A pleasant experience with the name of our project.
Opening the lines of communication in this way helped reduce overall fears and produced an opportunity for further interactions for this organization.
Communicating in the right way at the right times during a change initiation creates a smoother route toward successful project completion, as well as helping facilitate everything else previously mentioned.
As well as aiding with the management of employees through a change initiative, these tips can be used in conjunction with a well-rounded approach in managing change from a leadership perspective.
To learn more about effective communication throughout an organization read our blog: Organizational change: the power of communication