Don't ask what's in it for me - but what's in it for us
How do you deal with major change? This can come in all guises - it might be relocation, an organisational restructure, the introduction of new IT processes, or a takeover. Regardless of what it is, your attitude is critical to the success you will have in overcoming the challenge.
As a leader of your organisation or team it is essential you have strategies in place to help your staff and customers cope through periods of flux. Life has to go on, so don't let your service to customers suffer during this process of change. Your staff will also need support to adjust to any change, so continue to listen to them carefully. Above all, if you display strong leadership you will offer confidence and continuity.
As long as you communicate effectively with your clients, and keep them in the picture, they will be reassured by your confidence. Allow your staff the opportunity to debrief; there may be a lot of emotion involved, so empathise with them and be aware of their anxieties. Explore their insecurities and offer workable solutions to overcome their fears. In larger organisations the HR Department will be trained to manage this. In smaller companies it's usually down to the owner or director.
Communication is always the key. Fear of the unknown is a very real fear, which some cope with better than others. If you explain to staff at every step of the way what is happening, and why it has to happen, you will allay these fears and you will get them to buy into the process. As you work through the problem together you attain the best solution. Be aware of their working environment and anticipate any obstacles they may come across, so you can smooth the way. Keep checking in with staff to monitor how they are travelling. This is just as important three months later as well as three days later.
And who is there to support you as a leader? You need the opportunity to off load all the negative emotion that may be dumped on you. You need to have time out to nurture yourself through this change. As a coach, not only can I offer you support and be a sounding board, but also I have tried and tested strategies which allow people to move through a change successfully.
You'll be able to show customers and staff alike the way forward. You will pull together as a team. Collectively, the strength of the individuals will produce a powerful force to take on change and respond to it in a positive way.
They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
Have a question for Kool? Ask or leave a comment below!