Change. “To make different in some particular.” (Merriam-Webster).
Most companies have to address corporate change in some regard. Globally, most of us have experienced change, some significant in the past 12 months. Well, 13 but who is counting!
Much of this has changed the trajectory of many business models and shifted the way many of us do business. When one thinks about common traits that leaders have during times of change, communication, transparency, and teamwork come to mind.
Communication. “A process which information is exchanged between individuals.” (Merriam-Webster).
It is no surprise that communication is at the top of the list of traits employees value during corporate change. Communication helps employees feel valued and part of the change process. Even if working with distributed teams, leaders can make an effort to communicate with their teams. Examples include:
Schedule regular one-on-one meetings. Go for lunch, grab a coffee and discuss relevant topics.
Schedule regular team meetings. Even short and informal in nature, these meetings are opportunities to “check-in.”
Stop in their office, say hello, and have a conversation. Seems simple, but we all get busy.
Transparent. ” Visibility or accessibility of information during business practices.” (Merriam-Webster)
Transparency is should not be confused with confidentiality. Lack of transparency especially during times of change builds fear and resentment. When employees are fearful and resentful, productivity and morale erode. Transparency and communication go hand in hand. Communicate what you can to employees during organizational changes. This will build trust and reduce fear in employees.
Teamwork. “Work done by several that benefit the whole.” (Merriam-Webster)
Communication and transparency will lead to an “all hands on deck” approach to change. Involve your employees in the change process. Discuss with employees how an organizational change may impact their role. Ask employees to help develop new processes as it relates to their role. Involving employees in the change process demonstrates their value to the organization. It also shows that leaders want them to succeed in their roles.
Communication, transparency and teamwork are vital skills when leading through change. Exercise these skills to ensure your employees are involved in the process.
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