Leading in transformation processes
When changes are imminent, managers often encounter challenges when dealing with their own teams. With transparent communication, a clear direction and an openness to emotions and possible resistance, successful leadership and support in times of change is possible.
Challenges for managers in times of change
Companies and organizations are continuously exposed to change. Communicating these changes is one of the central and most challenging responsibilities of managers. It is not uncommon for managers to encounter fear, uncertainty or anger among team members, which manifests itself in active or passive resistance. Most people prefer the known and familiar. Changes turn habits and well-rehearsed processes upside down. Employees are quick to ask themselves why the change is necessary and what the consequences will be. As a manager, it is therefore helpful to prepare specifically for possible resistance and to help employees cope well with any changes.
Needs during times of change
There are various reasons why resistance can arise among employees. Frequently, it is fears and insecurities that lead to resistance. In order to guide your own team members well through processes of change, it is helpful to address the following basic needs:
Employees should understand the background to the intended change and why it is necessary and urgent.
Transparent and early communication is essential to avoid uncertainties. As a manager, it is important to create as much transparency as possible and also talk about your own feelings and uncertainties.
Employees want to be involved in processes of change, even if it's just to get a general feeling for an innovation. This gives them a sense of agency and participation.
Managers should be sensitive and attentive to where there are uncertainties. In this way, they can better respond to their teams and provide orientation through clear communication.
To counter resistance, it can be helpful to clearly formulate goals. If it is clear to employees why this change is important for achieving a common goal, trust increases.
When employees can ask questions and feel that their concerns are being heard, this conveys openness and respect. Especially when it comes to difficult decisions such as new team constellations or terminations, managers should pay attention to fairness.
In times of change, no promises should be made that cannot be kept. It is important not to lose trust in the manager during a process of change.