Change is vital and has become a way of organizational life. Organizations and their leaders must embrace change and lead their employees on this change journey to be successful. For this to happen, it is important for organizations to understand that people are the key in this change process and a strong connection needs to be established between the organization’s employees and the change initiativesWhether the type of change includes the introduction of a new technology platform or a business process re-engineering, a good change management strategy can help establish theconnection, explain the potential effects of the change to stakeholders and make the change program effective. Failure to establish such deep rooted connections between the employees and change initiative can have a negative effect on the organization and the employees.Last week’s article
, introduced the two elements of, leadership role during change and managing resistance as core elements towards achieving organizational change. Unpacking this further, we discuss how these elements play out in daily organizational life.
Role of leaders:
Leaders are responsible for motivating and energizing their teams when a change is introduced and steering them towards achieving the change goals. When a change is taking place, a leader must use communication to explain what needs to be done, the need for change and what will life after change look like.Given that communication is an integral part of an organization and key to a leader, what a leader communicates has the greatest influence on the organization’s employees.In the context of change, sharing of information or communicating in a timely manner is important because it will help people react and/or act. These reactions and/or actions could be part of daily businessactivities or could be responses to the changing environment. Therefore, what is said, how it is said and when it is said becomes important.Managing resistance:
When a change is introduced, most employees will reject this shift from status quo. It becomes the role of leaders to expect, understand and manage this resistance. As stated in the above paragraph an important role of leaders is to communicate.
Resistance to change normally stems from anxiety, denial, fear, lack of information about current state and future state, fear of job loss, change in role definition, introduction of a new process of technology or a change in boss even! At this stage the rumor mill is churning rapidly. Communication helps leaders understand reasons for this resistance and eventually communication can be used to alleviate fears, squash the rumor mill and offer clarifications.
In conclusion, it is not only up to the senior most person in the hierarchy or people who form the C-suite who need to communicate but also other managers and team leaders who need to take their employees on a change journey. When leaders use communication effectively, they capture hearts and minds of their employees who then become willing to travel with them on this change journey, which leads to successful organizational change.
- It is a leader’s role to help drive successful change.
- A leader must use communication to introduce and manage change.
- Resistance to change is to be expected and a leader must use communication to manage this resistance
According to you what is required for change to be successful?