4 Steps to Managing Successful Change

Most managers will tell you that their teams are naturally pretty resistant to change. Often, the resistance is because teams are nervous about how the change will impact them personally.  Change can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Lead a successful change initiative by following these 4 steps.

  1. Get your team on board early by making them aware of the need for change. Be sure to create a detailed project charter that includes a description of the problem, background information and clear deliverables that align to business goals. Share this information with your team and make this charter document available, so they can understand the full scope of the work being done.
  1. Stimulate the desire to participate in change. Highlight “what’s in it for them” and help the team understand the benefits of the change.  Lead by example and be a cheerleader for the change.
  1. Provide your team with the knowledge of how to change and the ability to change. Provide information on how the change specifically impacts each team member and the tools you are providing to them to help with the change.  If the change requires them to do something new consider if they will need training or coaching to acquire needed skills to be successful.
  1. Reinforce to sustain the change moving forward. Recognize early adopters, share results to business goals and celebrate success. This will get more and more team members wanting to be part of the change. If things aren’t going so well share that too and what adjustments are being made to the plans. Check in with your team throughout the change as well as after implementation of the change to ensure the change is sustainable.

Throughout each change effort, understand that each person has their own pace in adopting change. Address concerns with team members individually if needed.  Be visibly supportive and reassuring as your team is trying to adapt to the change.