Riding the waves of change

They say the only thing constant is change, and nothing changes more than our globalised economy. With Forbes recently reporting that Australia is one of seven countries “most likely to suffer a debt crisis” within the next three years, businesses could be facing another period of economic instability and change.

For managers, being on the forefront of change can be the key element that separates the wheat from the chaff. After all, the more adaptable a business is, the more likely it is to survive change, and this adaptability stems from a company’s leadership team.

Luckily, there is plenty that managers can do to assist teams in accepting and flourishing when a business decides to take a new direction.

Recruit for change

It is crucial to have agile people in your teams as they can promote change with their optimism and convert the attitudes of those who are less accepting of change. When you are recruiting for new team members, ask your candidates to talk about a time they have facilitated change in an organisation to assess how well they handle and communicate change. 

Involve every layer

Strategy decisions might be made from the top, but it’s the layers of employees below that implement them and will be affected by them. For managers, the normal communication channels need to be expanded as your team will be hungrier for more information than usual.  Giving staff at all levels the chance to offer feedback and ideas will help make them feel a part of the decisions and will increase their levels of accountability and buy-in.

Create short-term wins

Nothing motivates people like a win. By creating short term targets within the broader context of the change, your team will be able to see tangible evidence of progress and success, and this will spur them on to continue towards the broader goals of the business.  

Change is something many people fear, so it is crucial to handle it delicately with a formal approach. Communication, feedback loops, regular engagement and short term goals will help unite staff to work towards the company’s vision.