If your team is racked with uncertainty, they won’t perform. If that’s the case have you failed in your duty as their leader? You may like to think the term leader doesn’t apply to you, but if you have people that work for you (directly or indirectly) it does and it’s critical. In a recent article about how to get your staff to change – work smarter/ better/ more productively I wrote that a leader’s role is managing change and nothing else. Here are three ideas for helping teams deal with change, so you can get more from your team.
Your team’s performance will drop if they were to lose any/ all of their:
This article is about your role in fixing the first of those problems, as part of helping teams deal with change.
Leadership and creating certainty.
Most people have a need for predictability. Recently not knowing where I was living really brought this home to me. Would I find something in storage, the office, my real home, the house I was living in, or my friends place?
When you are explaining the need for change to staff, do remember that you have already already thought about the changes and had a chance to adapt to them – your team has not. People need time to adapt.
The more important something is, and the more uncertain somebody is about it – the more stress is created: stress reduces performance. Thinking you’re not stressed about it doesn’t help them, you job is to help them.
How can you create certainty, when surrounded by uncertainty?
Things that can help include:
- Messages need to be clear and consistent,
- Communication become even more important. All the change management I’ve ever been involved in says communication is key and “but I sent the email” doesn’t work. I’ve not heard teams complain about too much communication, only too little or poorly organised communication.
- Questioning is good; it can help people engage. Allowing them to explore details, things they might have lost, extra things they might now have (and maybe even like) helps them catch up with where you are. Remember you’ve already been through this phase when thinking about the changes you’re proposing.
- Communicating early wins, successes, etc. Many leaders I’ve seen have been great communicators at the beginning and then slowed down. Your changes are no implemented until they’re locked in place and accepted, even if you’ve mentally moved on by then!
- Passion can help, but be careful not to override their emotions
- Being more visible and showing more confidence than normal. Appearing vague or uncertain has the opposite effect!
- Keep communicating; people will invent bad news when there is no news. It’s human nature!
You may also like to read part 2 of helping teams deal with change, click here for part 2.
What’s your experience, is it harder to be motivated when surrounded by uncertainty?