Leading the Team Through Change


They say if you aren't changing, you aren't growing, and we all know that in order for businesses to be successful and increase results and profits, they must be nimble and adaptable to change. But, no matter how much change we experience, or how necessary a change is, it can cause people to experience added stress, anxiety, and sometimes resentment. As a leader, one of your primary responsibilities is guiding your people through change, so here are a few tips on how to handle change management with confidence.

Have a Clear Vision

Change for the sake of change is ineffective at best. Before you leap into any change you must have a firm grasp on why the change is necessary, how it will impact your department, and a plan on how you will communicate this information to your team. Being able to communicate confidently about the subject, as well as demonstrate a vision that recognizes (upfront) some of the challenges it may pose, will help show your team that you have looked at this from a number of angles.

Lead as a Unit

Before you prepare for a company-wide rollout, it is crucial to the success of any initiative that all members of your leadership team are on the same page. While there may be some concerns expressed behind closed doors, when you decide to move forward, do so as a cohesive unit. If you are not all communicating the same message, the same sense of urgency, or presenting a united front, you are setting yourself up for failure and conflict.

Bring Others In At The Right Time

While you may have a clear vision, clear expectations, and a decent working knowledge of how this will impact different departments, the fact remains that there could be things that you have not considered. Bringing in the right front-line staff at the right time can call early attention to important pieces of information that could make a huge difference in the success of implementation. Know who your trusted front-line advisors are, and invite them to pilot new initiatives or provide feedback early on - while letting them know you are counting on them for their discretion.

Plan a Rollout

Not all changes need big fanfare, but when you are making an extensive change, why not roll out the red carpet? Big changes like re-branding, new product lines, new management staff, or major technology updates can be an opportunity to bring your team together and get them excited about the future. Hopefully, if you have gotten the whole leadership team on board, received feedback from your front-line advisors, and worked out a clear and concise presentation, you will be able to build enthusiasm for the change versus speculation and anxiety.

It Boils Down to Two Choices

At the end of the day, when you have decided to make a change, your team has one of two options - they can opt-in or they can opt-out. Obviously you want your team to all jump on board, embrace the change, and perform their jobs without conflict - that is the picture of opting-in. Where an employer runs into issues is when staff rejects the changes, refuses to adapt, or even sabotages the plan through performance or gossip; that's what we call opting-out. Unfortunately you will come across some detractors, and it is important that you be prepared to transition them out of the organization, as their lack of buy-in can impact the team and the overall results. 

If you are adding on to your team or needing to fill a vacancy due to turnover, Manpower is ready to help.