Do you agree that people are resistant to change? Many reflexively agree with the idea – and they are often right – but it is not always the case. Sometimes people will embrace change if they just get some information. Most importantly, they want to understand how they fit in.
Whenever a change is made, leaders should go through a check of all communication to ensure that the basics are addressed.
WHAT is happening? What are the most important elements of the change?
WHEN is it happening? Team members need to understand the time frame so they can prepare.
WHY are we doing it? Share as much as you can. Work to be honest about competitive pressures, financial impacts, customer service improvements, and anything else that helped justify the change decision.
See “Why Your Change Message isn’t Getting Through” for more about leading change well
WHO will lead and participate in the change? Some individuals and workgroups will be affected more than others. Clarify the details.
HOW are we going to do this? Leaders have to explain the plan. Great leaders seek input from their teams to improve engagement and results. Teams that own the change also get through the emotional effects of radical change more quickly than those who are simply affected by it.
And this is where “What’s my part?” is critical. If a change is important – and if it isn’t, why are you doing it? – committed employees want to be a part of it. When it succeeds, they want to be able to write themselves into the story, to paint themselves into the picture. Everyone wants to be on a winning team, and every player wants time in the game to make a difference.
Consider all these points and give everyone a chance to be part of the success. This is foundational to teamwork and leadership.