What Are Best Practices for Leading Through Change?
Successful companies are rarely stagnant. Instead, change is part of their broader operational paradigm. Organizations can capitalize on opportunities, adapt to market shifts, embrace emerging technologies, and take other steps that keep them ahead of the competition by being open to change.
However, while change is powerful, it also creates challenges. Leading your employees during what can be tumultuous times isn’t easy. Change often means that your workforce will need to act, behave, think, or operate differently, which won’t go over well with everyone.
By using the right approach, you can ease any transitions. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some best practices for leading through change.
5 Principles of Positive Leadership When Change is Inevitable
Define Your Vision
Without a well-defined vision, confusion can reign. Before you start moving forward with any change, take some time to articulate your goals and end targets, both during and after the change. That way, your employees have a clear understanding of what’s to come, as well as a singular point of focus.
Craft Your Strategy
Knowing how your company will get from where it is to where you want to be is essential. Without a pathway toward your vision, your workforce won’t understand its role within the bigger picture or how to navigate the shift.
Determine what your employees need and plot a course that walks them through the change. Identify new skills they’ll have to acquire and decide how they’ll learn those capabilities. Create a communication plan to ensure they’re informed and give them a platform for questions and concerns. Identify key metrics to measure success and have a plan to ensure broad buy-in.
Champion the Change
If you want your employees to support a particular change, the leadership team must be its champion. Ensure that all company leaders openly support what’s on the horizon and actively seek out ways to ensure its successful implementation.
One reason that change is uncomfortable is that it represents moving toward the unknown. If you want to alleviate any fears that arise, communication is often the key. Make sure that everyone who is impacted by the change is well-informed at every step. Communicate early, clearly, and often. That way, employees won’t lack critical information.
Additionally, invite employees to engage in the broader conversation. Give them room to express their concerns or ask questions. Don’t be dismissive of their worries. Instead, focus on providing information that can put their minds at ease.
Address Issues Quickly
If the employee is experiencing an issue relating to the change, gather information about the problem quickly, even if it seems small. Even the littlest of matters can balloon into a major challenge, negatively impacting far more than a single employee.
Plus, even if you researched the change in advance, there’s always a chance that something was overlooked. By exploring every reported difficulty, you can make adjustments if necessary, ensuring you can address any bumps in the road and pave a path toward success.
Do You Need to Update Your Training to Address a New Change?
At Clarity, we have nearly 30 years of experience in L&D, giving us the knowledge and expertise to update your coursework efficiently. Plus, if you’re trying to expand your internal L&D team, Clarity can be your candidate search ally, connecting you with top talent right when you need them.
If you want to partner with leading L&D professionals, Clarity Consultants is here. Contact us today.