5 change management tactics you can’t afford not to use15 Jan 2020
Change can be an exciting thing for a business. It opens the doors for growth and presents new opportunities for your team, clients or other affiliated partners. However, change needs a strong sense of leadership and oversight.
Managing a change is no easy task. In fact, an estimated 60 to 80 per cent of change processes fail. The reasons for this can be attributed to various factors, but this doesn't mean that you and your team can't get ahead of the transition. There are tactics that are essential to the process, which can help you navigate the shift and be prepared for hurdles that might present themselves.
Here are 5 change management tactics you can't afford NOT to use:
1. Have a strong communication strategy
Communication should never be underestimated, especially in a time when a transition is occurring. Keeping your team informed of the processes, and especially how they are evolving from time to time, is one of the single most important roles a leader can take on during these times. From posting updates throughout the office, to sending constant emails, to simply stopping by to chat with team members about the ongoing status of operations. Communication will help keep the team on the same page moving forward.
2. Set expectations appropriately
Change opens the door for much uncertainty throughout many parts of the business. The last thing you want as a leader is to have overly cautious or misinformed team members. Setting realistic expectations can help team members prepare for what is to come.
3. Be honest
While the intention behind change is to improve the standing of the business, the transition can be difficult on many members of the team. It's important to not sugarcoat the reality of the situation. If there is something that you need to address as a leader, it is your responsibility to do so honestly and keep the team in the know about why decisions are being made and what the business is hoping to achieve. Even if the news is hard for team members to hear, they will at least know where they stand.
An effective leader is one who listens to the team. In a time of change, the team members will likely have many questions for you. But they might also have concerns about new processes or perhaps an aspect of the transition plan itself. Hear these concerns out and understand where your team is coming from. Additionally, don't be dismissive of new ideas they bring to the table. Team members are more likely to embrace the transition if they are able to bring forward ideas or methods for improvement on their own.
5. Lead by example
Change can impact a business in different ways, and it largely depends on what sort of transition the business is going through. Even when it comes to small changes, you need to lead by example. That could mean anything from having a positive attitude about the shifting processes to making sure you are following transitional guidelines to the T. If the team sees this passion toward embracing the transition and aspiring toward the objective, they are likely to follow and do the same. After all, they want the transition to go smoothly as well.
In a time of change, you as the leader will likely have to wear many hats that you might not be used to wearing. But what is most important when juggling these new responsibilities is that you not lose sight of the team. It's easy to get caught up in the numbers and the objectives at hand, but continuing to have open dialogue and trusting your team is crucial to overseeing a smooth change.
If you would like to learn more about effective change management tactics, consider taking an ICML professional training course, which are available for individuals as well as teams.