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Leading Staff Through Change

The global pandemic has brought forward major change to the way we work but teams need to prepare themselves for additional iterations of what work looks like in this day and age since organizations are bound to evolve if they want to prosper. Leading staff through change and giving them the tools to perform to the best of their ability is therefore imperative.

Innovation as a Centrepiece

Change can be traumatic even when we know about it ahead of time. But having to deal with something new without any notice is stressful - for management and staff alike.

This being said, change is not always bad.

As a leader, you must learn to welcome change yourself, and to encourage a similar mindset within your team.

In fact, according to the McKinsey Global Survey, companies are more than five times more likely to have a successful transformation when leaders have role-modeled the behavior changes they are asking of their employees.

Lead the change, don’t let it lead you. In other words, place change and innovation at the centre of your organization. Encourage yourself and others to question the status quo, to be creative and to think outside of the box.

This is a great way to tackle the beast and to nurture positive conversations on the topic. When innovation is part of everything that we do, when we are constantly challenged to change our perspectives, we are better prepared to welcome change, even when it is unforeseen or negative.

Obviously, the time will come when change will happen whether you like it or not. But leading your organization as if change could happen any day will make it better prepared for the real challenges ahead.

The Role of Empowerment

Organizations that encourage staff empowerment perceive risk-taking and mistakes as opportunities for employees and employers alike to learn and to grow.

The trust you display by handing over the reins to your team allows for innovation to emerge and encourages workers to experiment and to share new ideas - making them feel more at ease with change and therefore more inspired and more satisfied in their job.

Leading staff through change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process that constantly needs to be tweaked, refined and reinforced.

Empowering your team slowly but surely is one thing you can do to set it up for success before change hits.

1. Encourage personal growth

Act as a mentor to your team or implement a mentorship program. Provide professional development opportunities inside and outside of the office. If you cannot pay for them, be at least flexible towards your staff’ work schedule so they can attend classes, and make your commitment to personal growth known within the organization.

Identifying potential within staff and offering them early leadership experiences is also the way to go.

Whether it’s from a hard skills or human skills perspective, providing skilling opportunities to your talents will not only improve their satisfaction and retention but also make them more rounded individuals capable of taking on new challenges to support the organization in the future.

2. Leverage your team’ strengths

Indeed, we all have something new to learn. But it’s also important to be cognisant of people’s personalities, strengths and weaknesses. In the wrong job, the most talented and dedicated individual can become miserable and underperforming. Place people where they have the most potential to thrive.

3. Encourage time off

Observe your team. Take note of their time off. Whenever you see someone in need of a vacation or even just someone who hasn’t taken some time off in a while, encourage them to do so. Disconnecting from work and resting can do miracles for performance.

4. Show appreciation

As obvious as it may sound, leaders don’t express their appreciation often enough . Even when something may seem trivial, take time to thank your staff and to express how grateful you are for them, even if it’s just by stopping by their desk or sending them a heartfelt email. We all need a tap in the back every now and then.

5. Learn to forgive

We’ve said a lot about the importance of creative thinking to develop an innovative and ‘ready-for-change’ workforce. But not all ideas are brilliant. When an individual fails, practise forgiveness. Employees cannot thrive when afraid of being reprimanded. Use failures as opportunities to learn and to grow.

Need help?

Intuity Performance can support you in leading staff through change. We offer educational, training and coaching solutions on individual and team performance and can also create effective systems that are personalized to your specific organizational needs, in collaboration with your HR team in place.

Intuity Performance applies a Whole Person Performance approach to cultivate an environment for growth within organizations. Contact us to find out more.


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