Helping Your Team Adapt to Change

 In Digital Transformation

Change is sweeping the world’s workplace and it has impacted every industry. Those who might be slow to respond risk being left behind. This is why it is important for all business leaders to take a close look at the culture of their company and see if they are ready to embrace change. 

Personal and individual stewardship is simply not enough. True organizational change needs to be led. As a business leader, it is important to find ways to motivate and inspire a team to be creative and adapt to change. 

To do so, there are a few critical points that all leaders have to keep in mind when it comes to organizational changes.

First, ensure you have a culture that is open to change

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your company has a culture that is open to change. Change is scary, especially for employees. Long-term employees might assume change means they might lose their job, career, or purpose. As a leader, it’s important to create a culture centered around change. There are a few ways that you can do this. 

First, create a track record of change and adaptation. Sharing stories that show how other companies, previous employees, and other leaders have embraced change and found success in the process. Creating this company heritage is important in reassuring your team with reassurances that everything is going to be okay. Change is hard, no matter where or how it takes place.

Then, involve your team. 

They are more likely to be open to change if they feel like they are playing a part in it. Ask them to share their questions, emotions, and experiences. Be sure to listen, take notes, and consolidate common ideas.

Finally, set expectations from the very beginning. Acknowledge that there is room to grow and encourage leadership to take responsibility for mistakes. When undertaking a change in organization, position mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth. This is one of the most important parts of getting a team to embrace the idea of change.

The difference between managing and allowing change

It is important for business leaders to understand that there is a major difference between managing and allowing change. 

As a leader, it is your job to manage your team and their ability to successfully adapt to organizational change. But this doesn’t mean that you need to micromanage your team to change. Instead, you need to set parameters and allow your team to adapt. 

Managing change is a term that can be a bit misleading because this confines the idea of change in a set structure. Conversely, simply allowing change to happen without oversight might not yield the best outcome. As a business leader, it’s your job to straddle the divide between management and allowance.

Being resistant to change is often a reflection of fear. Remember, positives will come from change if leaders guide their team, set an example, and allow them to adapt. If everyone is allowed to play a role, the results will be positive.

What change adaptation looks like

Change adaptation has a very distinctive look. 

It is critical to pair team members with tasks that allow them to be successful. This is one of the most important roles of any business leader. Ask team members to explore their strengths and acknowledge their weaknesses. This will encourage personal growth and is a key part of any successful change process.

Once you have an idea of an employee’s weaknesses, empower their strengths. Take their strengths and pair them with certain roles, match the talent to the task. 

By placing team members in a position to succeed, they will be more likely to embrace anything you throw at them and adapt.

Successful change always requires constructive feedback. Remove any fear that there could be repercussions for simply sharing an opinion.

Qualities of teams that can adapt to change

Adapting to change is hard but there are a few qualities of teams that do this successfully. They typically include:

  • Mission: Every member of the team must be committed to the mission and why it matters. If they are open to the mission, the mission will succeed.
  • Membership: All members have to be clear about their roles and responsibilities. Place members in a position to be successful.
  • Metrics: Everyone has to be accountable for their actions, which means having definable metrics. These metrics help articulate what success looks like.

Change is coming and it is important to embrace it. Teams and businesses that embrace change will be more likely to succeed in the future.


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