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December 15, 2021

Best Practices for Leading Change: What to Do (Part 1 of 2)

Nikita Weinberg of Eightfold took a look at a critical part of adopting a Talent Intelligence Platform: change management. What are our customers saying is most important? What lessons can they give to other organizations as they adopt the platform? Here’s a look at what she is finding is working. And stay tuned to this blog for next week, when we’ll look at what’s not working.

Provide information: what you know, what you don’t, when to expect updates. Employees need all available information to make realistic assessments and effective plans. Share what information you have when you have it: what is changing, what is not, what is known, what is unknown, and when to expect updates.

Display a positive attitude. As the leader, you are in a position of great influence. In a sense you are your team’s North Star. Even if you are not yet fully onboard with the change, display to your team an attitude that is unbiased and welcoming of feedback.

Stay connected to your team. Focus on team goals, foster support, monitor functioning, and celebrate achievements.

Re-recruit people. Reiterate to each team-member their value, and your desire to have them remain on the team and support the change.

Surface issues and concerns. Show empathy. Help employees reframe their personal response to the change so they can effectively manage their own personal resistance.

Provide more structure. Define short-term objectives, time frames, priorities, and standards to help your team regain its equilibrium.

Protect quality and customer service. Service standards must remain high.

Delegate. Continue delegating work tasks while remaining mindful of each employee’s emotional stage and providing them relevant support.

Empower. As appropriate, give employees more influence in day-to-day decisions. Determine the appropriate level of authority to assign by considering an employee’s current emotional stage, level of experience, capability, and the task itself.

Raise the bar. Provide challenging assignments. Coach employees to grow and develop their skills.

Recognition. During change it is especially important to show appreciation and provide acknowledgement for work well done.

Two-way communication. Be honest about what you can’t say or don’t know. Be open to hearing feedback.

Inform/update higher management. Provide candid feedback on the change as it relates to the work and its impact on the people. This ensures leadership has the information needed to make informed decisions.

Practice the 4 Vs: This is not a change strategy by itself. Rather, it’s a piece of a larger strategy, or a tool, to use at the very moment the change goes live.

Visibility. Be visible, available, and interested in your employees during this time. Brief check-ins will leave employees feeling supported and valued.

Variability. Allow for varying personal reactions (see Kubler-Ross grief cycle model, pages 17-19) and give employees more flexibility at work to take care of themselves.

Ventilation. Allow opportunities (both formal and informal) for employees to tell their stories, compare their reactions, and express their feelings. Productivity may decrease initially; however, allowing ventilation can expedite getting back to a focus on work.

Validation. Say thank you and acknowledge employees for their contributions. Special recognition and verbal encouragement go a long way in challenging times.

Again, stay tuned for next week, where we’ll cover what to avoid.

 

Photo by Hakon Grimstad on Unsplash