Every organization at some point would have to come up with policies that bring about a change in direction, although not necessarily a complete change in focus but that which bring to the table a different perspective and approach to work.
Sometimes, employees find it difficult to move along smoothly with these policies, it may even be arduous for leaders, employers or top directors of corporate organisations or businesses. However, as a leader the duty to keep the train moving is entirely on you.
There are several ways to navigate during such periods. Here, I will highlight four methods CEOs, leaders, employees and top officials should employ during the transition phase.
There is a clear difference between speaking to and speaking at. It is important for you to acknowledge the skills and methods to speak to your audience and not at them. What this does is to make it obvious that the change is meant to be beneficial or towards a better phase.
Process, content and your method of delivery determines how effective the message you are passing across will be. While doing this, avoid complex words, simple and clear words will convey your message better than complex ones. This is not the time for show-off, hit the nail on the head with sincerity and do not forget to be diplomatic where needs arise. Whether the message is conveyed verbally, in writing or voice records, always remember that simplicity does it better.
To balance this method, validate your message with a solid feedback mechanism. Corporate firms and brands have learnt to create a bottom-up communication method. This creates your “opinion matters” scenarios and as this mechanism is put in place, ensure that highly confidential minded employee(s) handle this sector.
No matter how efficient one is in human psychology, there is always the need for consultation. You may think a large population of the staff do not go in line with the transition due to the belief that it disrupts their knowledge of how. Sitting down with the staff and explaining changes alone may not help situation. It is good to move round and gather data on how they feel, plus you cannot devise a proper response for improving the situation until you confirm what the problem is.
Move round and take notes from this sampled opinion gathering or data compilation method, after meeting with them make notes, seat and convert opinions to qualitative data by identifying keywords. For instance, if 65% of employees say, “the old method works perfectly, why do we have to change” “are the previous methods that obsolete?” this makes it clear that you need to explain the processes, styles, and advantages of new methods over the previous ones. This method works all the time.
There are myriads of words that should be out of a leader, CEOs, employees and founders dictionary. Important is effective work delivery from employees but more important is the right state of employee’s mind. An active worker will definitely be more productive, people listen a lot and it affects emotions. As much as it is advised that work and emotions should be separated, we cannot deny the fact that a level of emotional attachment to what we do determine how well we execute our jobs. It is a call on leaders to avoid words that are not encouraging.
At this period of transition and beyond, word such as “should” need not to exist it your vocabulary, this automatically assigns blame, which, in turn, triggers guilt, shame and a decrease in morale. Employees are currently going through a phase that require them to get accustomed to new methods. Rather say, “this is what you could do next time” “if this occurs next time, do this” “why not try this method? It yields better result”
Organisational transition phase involves more than shifting behaviour, method, style or learning a new skill. It requires a complete or partial change of mindset. This is even more true when it comes to achieving a sustainable change.
To change employees’ mindset, gather relevant stories, qualitative data, proofs, client results and lessons learned to illustrate positive results from making the change in how work gets done, how employees work with each other, understanding the organization’s overall business model or whatever the new thing is.
Communicating this verbally, in written or infographics form will help your people see the mindset shift you bid for.