How to get your team to take a new direction

by L&D28 Apr 2016
For managers, being on the forefront of change can be the key element that separates the wheat from the chaff, according to Christine Khor, Managing Director of Chorus Executive and author of Hire Love: how to hire passionate people to make greater profit.

“The more adaptable and agile a business can become, the more likely it is to succeed, and what gives businesses the ability to be adaptable stems from its managers,” said Khor.

She added that there is plenty that managers can do to assist teams in accepting and flourishing when a business decides to take a new direction.

Recruit for change

Change management requires leaders who have the kind of personalities that can handle change well and communicate it effectively through all levels of the business. When you are recruiting for new team members, ask your candidates to talk about a time they have facilitated change in an organisation to assess how well they handle and communicate change.  It is crucial to have agile people in your teams as they can promote change with their optimism and convert the attitudes of those who are less accepting of change.

Involve every layer

Strategy decisions might be made from the top, but it’s the layers of employees below that implement them and will be affected by them. As a manager, the normal communication channels need to be expanded as your team will be hungrier for more information than usual.  Giving staff at all levels the chance to offer feedback and ideas will help make them feel a part of the decisions and will increase their levels of accountability and buy-in.

Create short-term wins

Nothing motivates people like a win. By creating short term targets within the broader context of the change, your team will be able to see tangible evidence of progress and success, and this will spur them on to continue towards the broader goals of the business.  

Change is something many people fear, so it is crucial to handle it delicately and with a considered and formal approach. Communication, feedback loops, regular engagement and short term goals will help unite staff to work towards the company’s vision.