Motivating employees through change
Change is inevitable, and businesses are no exception. Like people, businesses grow and change through a life cycle, transitioning from the stages of infancy, adolescence and adulthood to reach the “golden years.” In today’s rapidly changing world, a company’s Achilles heel may be its inability to adapt. To remain responsive to consumer demands at each stage of the business life cycle, a company’s team must work diligently to innovate constantly, grow sustainably and eclipse the competition.
The inevitability of change does not make it easy to adapt. You’ll need to work strategically to navigate your team through the transitions ahead. As you master the concepts behind managing staff through change, your business will emerge stronger than it’s ever been.
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Strong leadership is crucial for managing staff through change
When your business is in transition, strong leadership is necessary for successfully managing staff through change. Think of a ship at sea. Given the myriad unknowns of life on the open waters, even the most skillful mariners are likely to feel unsettled by a lack of strong management when the storm clouds grow. Without a skilled leader, communication problems escalate, and the crew’s capacity for navigating the storm diminishes.
The same is true of your business. Even if your staff is talented and committed, if you are not able to rise to the challenge of leadership during transition, your team will feel your absence. You must commit to developing the management skills necessary for motivating employees through change. You’ll want to focus on two fronts: mastering your team and mastering yourself.
Developing your leadership identity
Being an outstanding leader boils down to mastery of your relationships and your time. As Tony Robbins says, your leadership is largely defined by the quality of your relationships. Good leaders look for alliances, but great leaders look for what inspires others. Strong leaders lift up others, so you’ll want to master the art of empathy in the workplace by championing your team. Solicit your employees’ perspective, and you’ll emerge lightyears ahead in your efforts at managing staff through change. Once you get in touch with what empassions the people around you, whether they are your employees, investors or customers, you’re able to nurture the mutually-beneficial relationships that will support your business in its time of transition.
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Strategies for motivating employees through change
When it comes to motivating employees through change, communication and planning are key. Your staff needs to know that you are not only up to the challenge of leadership but also equipped with practical skills to guide your business through the transition.
Create a firm plan with a clear objective.
In managing staff through change, you must create a baseline of stability by making a plan. Before you approach the changes your business is experiencing, evaluate your business plan to make sure it is solid. Identify areas of weakness you need to address instead of making changes just for the sake of making changes. Once you identify a clear objective as an end goal, you can then move on to problem-solving around how to reach your objective.
Engage your team in the process.
Communication problems can break a business, but you can circumvent them by prioritizing effective communication as a matter of practice and company policy. Getting your team’s input on how to steer your business will also create staff buy-in, preventing a lack of cohesion down the road. Consider selecting a team member who is generally well-liked to assist you in collaborating with staff. You’ll find that motivating employees through change becomes virtually effortless when your team realizes you’re all working together to improve your collective work experience.
Delegate tasks within your team.
Managing staff through change means honestly evaluating how your business’ day-to-day operations are accomplished. As you re-evaluate your business, make sure you’re getting your team’s feedback so that tasks are delegated fairly and efficiently. Remain onboard for support and evaluation, but refrain from micromanaging. Delegation will save your sanity and free up your schedule.
When you’re working on motivating employees through change, remember that people organize their behavior around expectations. So, set realistic expectations. Be clear on what is expected of each employee (including yourself), create clear deadlines for completion and hold your team (and yourself) accountable. You’ve already made it clear that you value your staff’s input, so you’ll likely find that setting expectations will provide a level of stability your team will appreciate.
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