Ensuring your managers have the change leadership skills they need is more important than ever. Whether your organization is back to being fully on-site, fully remote, or hybrid, the pandemic has forever changed how we do business. Is your change management leadership team prepared to embrace our next normal?
Here are 5 qualities every change management leadership team needs to succeed:
We will say this over and over and over again. Clear, open communication lives at the very core of every change management initiative. Without it, even something as menial as a software update is at risk of failure.
Here are just a few ways leaders with strong communication skills can improve your organization and reinforce change:
- Boost motivation and productivity
- Increase morale
- Reduce workplace anxiety by keeping everyone well-informed
- Makes employees feel safer and more appreciated
- Allows the exchange of ideas, which can lead to new, innovative plans
- Make remote and on-site workers feel equally heard
- Enhance teamwork and collaboration
- Reduce workplace conflict and resistance to change
These last two years have impacted every one of your employees—each in different ways. Allen might have lost his mother to COVID-19, while Brenda balanced being a full-time worker, mother, and teacher to her three little girls. Sal spent the pandemic alone in his apartment, too afraid to leave the house, while Mary and her partner had to turn their dining room table into an office.
Everyone has to deal with hardships and drastic change, and as organizations race to meet the demands of this new era, change will continue.
Change management leadership must meet these shifts with empathy. You need authentic, transparent communication with everyone on your team. Understand what they’ve been dealing with, and ask how you can best address their needs so they can succeed.
Also, don’t hesitate to share your hardships. The pandemic has given us a unique opportunity to form stronger bonds through empathy and the recognition that we’ve all endured tough times. The more your employees feel seen, the more likely they are to appreciate you and be motivated to work well.
Strong leaders understand that with change there is opportunity. Change management is about improvement, whether it’s updating processes to make your lives easier or entering an emerging new marketplace. Leaders don’t implement change initiatives to make their businesses less successful.
Most people are wary of change. If leaders focus on the positives and the end-result, they can inspire employees to get enthused with them and boost motivation, morale, and productivity.
4. Ability to Plan Strategically
Communication, empathy, and enthusiasm are all great skills for your change management leadership, but they’re only as effective as the plan for change itself.
Strategic planning helps leaders be pragmatic, impartial, and objective. They should manage the day-to-day operations and have a clear roadmap to success. They should be well aware of the end goal and all the milestones along the way. Also, they should identify any obstacles that could get in the way and how to resolve them.
Great leaders have a clear vision for the future. Forward-thinking leaders remain focused on that vision, easily communicating it. They then develop strategies that’ll work in our new normal.
If your leaders can’t think ahead, they risk losing sight of their goals and can get lost in the trivialities of the day-to-day.
Bonus: Understanding the Need for Change
Before starting any aspect of change, you need to know why it’s necessary and how to communicate it to others. Your leadership teams shouldn’t start a conversation about their teams by saying they should be aware that a change is happening. These conversations should be about the awareness of the need for change. Starting there will make getting your employees on board for change much easier.
Final Thoughts on Change Management Leadership
There are plenty of other astounding qualities that change management leaders should possess. Stay tuned for a follow-up article on change management leadership in the future. If you have more questions about these qualities, send us a message. We’d love to help you.