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Manage Organisational Change – Tips for Leaders

Last month Elon Musk acquired Twitter for a reported $44 billion (approx. £35billion); an announcement that was soon followed by reports of Twitter blocking any changes or updates to the platform amid fears that some staff, left disgruntled by Elon Musk’s takeover deal, could ‘go rogue’ and sabotage operations.

Twitter’s fear is not unjustified. Recent figures reveal that employee activism is on the rise. In fact, according to a Weber Shandwick study, four out of ten employees spoke up to support or criticise their employer’s actions.

When organisations go through change – whether that’s a merger and acquisition, change in management or to the organisation’s structure – it can be difficult to align employees to accept and understand the reason for the change as often the shift can work against long-standing company habits and beliefs.

Manage Organisational Change – Tips for Leaders

Empower employees through communication

Communication is an essential part of managing organisational change effectively to clarify why the change is required. When businesses fail to communicate, they fail to make substantial changes.

Communication in change management isn’t a one-time exchange. It requires commitment, clarity, and consistency. Use two-way communication tools including surveys, focus groups, and informal feedback.   Employees feel valued when leadership involves them and the more valued they feel, the more likely they are to embrace change, contribute to its implementation and want to remain in the business.

Activate leadership

Many leaders are unaware of their critical role in change. According to Prosci, “active and visible executive sponsorship” is the main reason why change initiatives succeed. Therefore, leaders should be educated on their role in the transformation process.

From start to finish, leaders should play a vital role in assisting the company in interpreting the implications of change for their teams, the organisation, and the marketplace. They can ensure that people who facilitate organisational transformation remain engaged, keep employees on track and, should there be a change of direction, devise a new strategy if necessary.

Be proactive and pay attention to momentum’s highs and lows

During change initiatives, there will be highs and lows and leaders should proactively manage these points. They should celebrate victories during periods of rapid change to keep the momentum going and  reset communication techniques during low moments to listen to employee opinions, build trust and support. Being proactive aids leaders in maintaining momentum for maximum performance.

Often change is the route to a successful, expanding business so it’s critical that businesses can adapt and accept it when the time is right. When leaders proactively engage people and ensure clear, consistent, and open communication, they position themselves and their companies to effectively manage organisational change.

If you would like some support on how to engage and communicate organisational change to employees, don’t hesitate to contact hr inspire’s expert team here.

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