Change is a word which doesn’t excite many, especially considering we’re creatures of habit.
Change can generate uncertainty, and when we’ve grown to accept the status quo, the prospect of changing it can be daunting. That’s where a change management 101 pays dividends.
Source image: Omnia Partners
But why should change have such a negative stigma? The perception of change can create multiple obstacles in business environments, where before you know it staff have put up multiple barriers which slow down progress.
Change is mandatory for businesses to evolve and remain relevant in constantly innovating digital environments. Every week there’s a new change to consider, and it truly is a case of evolve or become extinct.
Organizations should strive to continuously improve; improve performance, customer satisfaction, and ultimately staff satisfaction.
These are all measurable outcomes of change, despite staff fearing their job security at the very thought of change.
The regularity of change has driven the need for it to be managed effectively. When change isn’t properly managed it can become a disruptive force.
When managed successfully, the scope for positivity is greater than ever. It is the approach to change management which ultimately determines the success of organizational transitions.
Though your approach will largely depend on your unique circumstances, there are some general principles and desirable qualities which are at the helm of any effective change management strategy.
But which change management skills will facilitate business growth? Read on to find out and you can cultivate an organization of workers who understand what it takes to be successful.
Great little two minute film on the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset: https://t.co/Zd8cR1aHK9 Beautifully and simply explained and animated by @spencerideas pic.twitter.com/KRwKhk3vTc
— Helen Bevan (@helenbevan) October 1, 2018
To further motivate them, why not engage them with some fun games and activities?
Which Change Management Skills Are Most Important?
A lack of in-house expertise is commonly associated with bad change management. Change processes are infamous for their inability to be executed effectively.
When staff don’t have the prerequisite skills to be successful, change is doomed for failure. Though the change management skills needed differ on a role-by-role basis, there are some skills which are highly transferable to multiple positions.
By promoting the importance of a diverse skillset, you’ll maximize the potential of your team. Change managers should be well-equipped to deal with various specialisms, which will breed confidence in the rest of the organization.
To accompany the skills taught, there are some great tools and techniques your team will benefit from mastering.
Here are some vital change management skills which anyone involved with change should embrace:
There will be many setbacks along the way, but it’s your ability to bounce back that determines success.
Smiling in the face of adversity goes a long way, and being able to overcome huge obstacles without panic is a highly sought after skill.
Change managers will quickly need to learn how to deal with limited resources and staff. You’ll need to occasionally shoulder the burden of an uncertain team, encouraging staff to get things off their chest.
You might occasionally serve as their punch bag, but you must remain calm and be the voice of reason.
Change managers should have a knack for clearly communicating change initiatives with staff.
They should be capable of resonating with their team, captivating them with real endorsement of new processes.
A clear communicator will be perceived as somebody who can lead staff towards new horizons. They should always make staff feel valued, communicating how everyone fits into the bigger picture.
The vision for change must be clearly communicated, to keep staff motivated and working together in the right direction.
You might meet resistance, but with the right soft skills you’ll be able to coach people through problems as a reassuring voice.
Can you instill faith and confidence in your team? Do your team trust you?
These are vital considerations for change managers. Staff will be incentivized to follow the directions of someone they trust. If instructions are given from someone who isn’t trustworthy they are likely to fall flat.
Building trust is all about being an honest person who will readily listen to staff and act on their feedback. It is about creating a two-way dialogue which proves how much you value your team’s efforts.
People will seek advice from their line manager, and will confide in your answer. You should retain your integrity and reflect a positive need for change they can relate to.
Staff will be more likely to believe and endorse change when it’s delivered by a consistent line manager.
Resistance to change is a common reaction, especially when we’re hard wired to reject change.
A good change manager will give clarity to staff, helping them cope with change in less desirable circumstances.
Strong leaders will embrace uncertainty, and make positive efforts to explain how initial uncertainty can be channeled into positivity.
Everything can be learned from, and improvements can derive from questions. Leaders will manager uncertainty by clearly discussing when issues will be resolved, and how staff can resolve queries together.
A good change manager will coach those who seem more sensitive, spotting a potential crisis and seeking to resolve it before it gets out of hand.
When an individual needs support, you should be on hand to snap them out of it, otherwise negativity, confusion, and disillusion can snowball.
With a mix of the above qualities, change managers will be perfectly positioned to lead organizations into a new era!
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.