As a leader, you are responsible to guide your team through our changing world. You know the vision that you and your team have developed and own. However, to accomplish your God directed vision you will need to make changes, motivate and encourage your followers.
Change is often perceived as a difficult challenge. The routine is comfortable and feels secure. A change impacts the working environment. The change to the balance may be uncomfortable until stabilized. Your role in orchestrating change is crucial to the degree of acceptance. During times of stress team members look to you, their leader for support, encouragement and security. You can reduce staff anxiety and increase staff comfort by following a few points.
Be honest in stating the reason for the changes. State why the change is required, how it will affect the individual staff and the organization as a whole.
Emphasize the benefits of the change. Staff are concerned about the organization, but are more concerned about their working environment, career plans and individual security.
Detail the positive and potential challenging aspects of the change. Staff will find the negatives if you don’t. By identifying all sides of the issue, you are being honest and this will increase staff’s level of confidence. Spend time with your staff.
Define a realistic plan for implementation. Here’s a good opportunity to win staff support by asking for their input in designing the plan. Staff are always more committed to a project they have had input into. Honestly ask for staff feedback and use it. We can all benefit from the advice and input from staff experience.
Finally, and possibly most important, look at your own track record. When you have a reputation for positive changes, staff will trust your work and will be positive. However, past failures will be projected into the future, feared, resented and derailed by staff.
Change is difficult. Be honest, represent all the issues well and your staff will learn to trust your judgment and leadership.
Leadership is … knowing that change can and should be positive.
Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy