Helping Employees Adapt to Strategic Change

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Strategy shifts are almost inevitable in business, but how you communicate that change and carry it out could be the difference between success and failure.

Jim Haudan, CEO of Root Inc. and author of “The Art of Engagement: Bridging the Gap Between People and Possibilities,” advises leading by example and coaching employees through change.

Managers should change their own behavior first so that employees want to follow suit, he says. They should create a sense that “we are all in this together” and become empathetic to employees’ needs. Change is emotional, Haudan says, and by appealing to what makes people tick, you can achieve better results. For example, you can train managers in a new system or program first and then have them train employees. That way managers change first as an example, and they can also be more empathetic and helpful to employees in the new system because they know the challenges.

He also advises forming teams to help remove obstacles to change. Post notes on a wall listing the obstacles so you can see how they fit together, and then pick the most important obstacles to remove. Create a shared vision and purpose and encourage honest assessments.

Demonstrating change and engaging your employees can help create a sense of camaraderie that can make strategic changes a success.

Adapted from Coaching Employees Through Strategic Changes at Baseline Magazine.