How to Lead a Team Through Change

Apr 28 2023 | Einblicke

The workplace is a dynamic space, and one thing is very true of it; change is constant. With constant technological advancements, a rapidly changing global economy, and the shift towards new ways of working, change is, now more than ever, inevitable.

What can we do to keep up with this? Well, constant change can be a little overwhelming. So, having leaders with the skills to guide teams and employees through this constantly evolving workplace is key to successful business growth.

What is Leading Through Change?

As a leader through times of change, you’ll be the intermediary between senior decisions that enforce change and the implementation within the workforce. It can often be a sensitive position, so understanding how to lead change is key to keeping your workforce happy.

A guide on how to lead a team through change

We’ve put together some steps on how to lead through change:

  1. Communicate the vision

  2. Encourage feedback, suggestions, questions, and concerns

  3. Be transparent

  4. Be ready for resistance

  5. Prepare to support

Communicate the vision

When big or small changes within a business arise, the first thing that is key is communication. Communicating with your staff to explain why this change is happening and helping them understand the vision of this change is fundamental. Keeping employees in the dark about change that may affect them could increase turnover rates, and decrease employee happiness, because no one likes being left in the dark.

This is where the communication skills of team leaders are incredibly important.

Encourage feedback, suggestions, questions, and concerns

One report found that 60% of employees feel that their views or opinions are ignored at work, while just 16% of Gen-Z employees feel they can freely express their views and opinions – which are pretty alarming statistics.

Throughout any change at work, your employees are the ones that are going to feel it the most, which is why listening to them is crucial. So, encouraging their feedback, and giving them a voice for suggestions, questions, and concerns is vital in leading them steadily through change.

We all like to be heard, and in times of hardship or change, you’re far less likely to see staff turnover and far more likely to successfully navigate company shifts if you’re actively listening to them.

Be transparent

Being transparent throughout a process of company-wide change is key in building and maintaining trust from your team. Ensure you’re sharing any next steps, any new information, a clear roadmap if one is available, and any affects that may be seen as a result of the change. This will keep employees in the loop, and aims to build greater confidence in the process, while helping them feel purposeful.

Be ready for resistance

Not all change is going to be welcomed with open arms – take the sudden move to hybrid working as an example. It was met with very mixed views and emotions. This is something that as a leader in times of change you’ll need to be prepared for.

Resistance to changes in the workplace is inevitable – the workplace is built on a group of very individual people all with differing opinions, so be prepared to answer questions and give solutions.

Prepare to support

Supporting employees through even the smallest of changes is fundamental as a leader. This support can come in a number of different forms, and it should be an ongoing process whilst change progresses.

Providing training or coaching to employees that need it is one example of how support can be given. Preparing resources that are readily available to all is another. Giving recognition to small wins as changes occur helps to reduce the fear and negativity that comes with change, and simply always being open to discussions with employees is also a key supportive trait needed when leading through change.

There are many avenues where support can be provided, so prepare them because times of uncertainty can be difficult for employees.

Whether it’s change through growth, structure, strategy, or culture, don’t allow change to lead you; instead lead it. Find supportive change and transformation coaches that can help navigate the complicated world of leading through change.

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