How to effectively manage your team through change

26 July 2017

In the working world, change can sometimes be a tricky thing to manage: everyone has their own reactions to the unexpected.

Some people relish the developments that change brings with it. Other members of the team, who enjoy working in ways they’re used to, might find it difficult to adapt. Often, feelings of tension, uncertainty and stress can arise in these situations.

Though change is inevitable at some point or another, it’s impossible to tell when exactly it will occur. Because we cannot see into the future, the next best thing is to be prepared for whatever the change may be. The better prepared you are for change, the easier it will be to manage the various reactions and personalities of your team to ensure a smooth workflow throughout the process.

We spoke to Learning and Development Consultant, Daniel Masters, back in January as part of our Business Basics series about how to deliver amazing business presentations. We invited him back to talk us through his tips for handling change across your team, adapting elements of his presentation process in order to deal with the unfamiliar. 

Watch the video with Daniel below before reading his five tips to help with incoming change.

 

1. Communicate throughout

Make yourself transparent with your team at all stages of the process. Whether it’s easing tensions and the worries of certain team members, informing them of the reasons for the change, or listening to their concerns, ensure all communication channels are open – before, during and after the change.

A lot of people will be wondering why these changes are taking place. It’s up to you to ensure steady workflow by providing them with quality communication as the process moves onwards.

2. Use the four Ps

Adapted from his presentation tips, Daniel’s four Ps go a long way to allaying a team’s concerns and reassuring all individuals; persuade them that change is not something to be feared. The four Ps are:

  • Purpose – What the change is and why?
  • Plan – How will the change be tackled and what milestones will be faced/achieved along the way?
  • People – How the change will help others and how your team can support you.
  • Paint a picture – The process of change might be a tough one. Create a vivid image of the journey and its rewards, almost as if they can ‘see’ themselves adapting to the change.

manager supporting team during change

3. Embrace the change curve

Shock, denial, anger, bargaining and experimentation are all part of the process of change, whether we want to admit it or not. By their definition, they imply that change is something to be feared rather than embraced.

When your team hits a bump in the road, people might not be so ready. By providing the support they need along the way, you help others to realise that the change curve, though seemingly steep at first, is one to be eased into when the process starts. Many of the team will look to you as a guide, so support them when they need it.

4. Channel positivity

The natural response to change can be negative, but sometimes people thrive. Those who respond well to change are integral to team spirit. Use the positivity of others as a tool in times of change, and help others who previously struggled to adapt to get on board.

manager explaining occupational change

5. Celebrate success

An important morale boost, celebrate any milestones along the way and the process as a whole with acknowledgements and recognitions of success. Small wins go a long way to achieving big goals - highlighting even the most minor achievement. Whether it’s with small perks, praise at your next team meeting or dinner and drinks after work, celebrating success makes engaging your team and getting them on board when the next process of change occurs easier.

Remember, they couldn’t have done it without you, and vice versa. Make sure they feel valued at the end of the cycle of change.

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