Home >

How Can I be a Change Leader?

Once plans are announced, share them with your staff. Their reaction to the news will be based, in part, on your own reaction to the change.

Role model a positive attitude. Don’t stop there, however. Identify the concerns of your team members and attempt to address them if you can. Corporate goals tend to drive the need for change, but these goals have to be explained in terms that your staff can understand—from their impact on work done, to the need for new skills, to greater organizational profitability, all of which could increase the likelihood of job security. You should also be prepared to clear up any misconceptions. There may also be bad news associated with the change. You have to be prepared to communicate this to your staff members before it reaches the office grapevine (see Communication Management). Better that your employees hear it from you than another employee.

Some changes may bring cause for mourning, like a series of layoffs. Give your employees time to grieve. Offer compassion and empathy to your staff. Let your employees see that you also are feeling the loss. Generally, left to run its course, this mourning period will taper off as employees adapt to the circumstances. Once they have become reconciled to their losses, they will accept the change and be ready to move on with a renewed sense of purpose. The task of transition will demand all the attention of your staff members, thereby distracting them from any further grieving.

If employees know you are opposed to a change, it is best to be honest. If they suspect or even know your feelings, let them know the reason for your concerns but also point out the need for change—how not taking any action could have more serious repercussions than pursuing the plan—and follow this up with a statement that you plan to support the effort and you hope your staff will support you in this.