Leaders are defined by their connection with others. There is no better way to provide guidance than to be personally clear about the final destination. Managers are tasked with enabling employees to prepare and execute big changes within their organization.
However, guiding employee engagement requires leaders to reflect deeply on their own thoughts about the changes. As a leader, you can assist your employees through this process by walking yourself through it first.
Let’s explore the various ways that this can be accomplished in a few steps.
1. Understand the End Goal of the Change Process
The next step is to understand where the company needs to go in concrete terms. It is the manager’s task to guide employees through the change process. This will get everyone to the same place eventually, but the process of making this happen must be clear.
This is where structured planning comes into the picture. Detailing the process for these changes will enable people to follow directions and arrive at the same destination.
2. Keep an Open Line of Communication
Confident employees are more likely to participate fully than employees who are feeling threatened by the changes. Communication frames the experience of change, so take the time to develop a language that speaks directly to the concerns of the workers.
Let employees make comments and suggestions, and provide other avenues for them to engage actively in the process of making changes happen. Open communication generates an atmosphere of cooperation and participation.
3. Manage Resistance to Change
Resisting change is a normal human reaction. The best facilitators of change will recognize this and take steps to address it. Many employees might respond negatively to the announcement of major changes.
The re-distribution of responsibility sends a signal that the company has an ongoing need for employees to be involved. This reduces the general sense of tension and uncertainty.
4. Engage Team Members
Key employees can play an important role in the process when you get them on board in the early pre-change stages. Ask employees for suggestions. Learn to communicate to others about the ways that these changes will be beneficial even if there is some discomfort during the process.
5. Offer the Necessary Training
Change requires employees to think and act differently. This can be uncomfortable because work habits develop over time, and they are not easily adjusted overnight.
The training communicates a sense of value to the employee, and this reduces the fear of layoffs. Using realistic benchmarks and milestones is also effective, but you can also support these efforts by providing specific training to the employees.