Empowering Leadership in a Change Management Process

Strong and considerate leadership is a fundamental element of a successful change management process. If the leadership aren’t completely onboard, employees will sense their reluctance and see little reason to engage. You can’t enact change without buy-in from the top. It is critically important that the education of the leadership is a priority and that they’re given the necessary tools and training to communicate it back to subordinates.

Remember, leadership in a change management process comes from more than just the CEO and Board of Directors. Every single manager and supervisor needs to be well-informed and committed to the project as they’re the ones that employees see on a daily basis. They have the greatest influence over employee actions and so have the potential to affect the greatest change.

But how can they do it?

1. Considered Communication

When it comes to communication, consistency is key. Mixed messages from different people will simply cause confusion, reduce efficiency and delay the project. Employees are most likely to listen to their immediate boss which is why every manager needs to be singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak. Managers should be trusted to interpret communications from higher up, giving them the license to emphasise the most pertinent points for their department and convey the message using their employees’ preferred means of communication. For example, a face-to-face meeting, email or an internal messaging system.

At the heart of all communications should be an expectation of what needs to happen for the change management process to succeed. In order to be as efficient as possible, employees need to be crystal clear on what their new responsibilities are and how and for what they will be held accountable. The more specific leaders can be in their instructions, the smaller the chance of confusion and mistakes being made.

2. Commitment To The Process

Every leader involved in a change management project needs to act as an advocate for it. They should be championing how it will boost the performance of the company, outlining its benefits and not shying away from tackling any thornier, more complex obstacles. Essentially, they should be role models for other employees to emulate and draw strength from. That means ensuring that their actions reflect their words and presentations.

3. Willing To Be Held Accountable

An excellent leader is willing to hold both themselves and others accountable for their actions or inactions within a change management process. The project is only going to succeed if everyone is fully onboard and pulling their weight. Lay out the consequences of disengagement from the start and be prepared to follow through from the start. Should anyone prove to be resistant to the change and fail to fulfil their responsibilities, their manager needs to work with them to understand what the sticking point of it is. If they still fail to engage, they should be held accountable for that choice.

Equally, there should be a mechanism in place to ensure that leaders are also held culpable for their actions. This will give them the impetus to truly commit to the project and see it through. Rather than walking away from problems and dooming the project to fail, they will work to find and implement a solution.

4. Be Decisive

To keep a project moving, the leadership team need to be decisive. Countless unexpected obstacles and hurdles will arise as part of a change management process but a good leader should be able to deal with them. If they know they don’t have the expertise to deal with the issue themselves, they should know who to delegate to or whose advice to take. Time is critical as drawn out deliberations will simply suck all of the momentum out of a project and reduce employee engagement. Should multiple issues arise at once, the leadership team should be able to prioritise which to tackle first.

Finally, a leader needs to motivate and engage their employees. They should take the initiative and reach out to concerned individuals, putting aside time to understand their perspective. Empathy can go an awfully long way to increasing engagement in a change management process.

 


6 Group is a global leader in change. It’s our job to help you realise the reasons why you want to do things differently and to partner with you to make your transformation a success.

To discuss how we can support your change management process, get in touch using the contact form below.

 

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