If your team has no purpose, they won’t perform. If so, you will waste huge amounts of time and energy, it will be like being stuck in a traffic jam with no energy to move, but plenty of frustration..traffic jam, like the jam that happens whne your team are dealing with change

In a recent article I wrote that a leader’s role is how to get staff to change – work smarter/ better/ more productively, in other words it’s about change and nothing else. I then went on to talk about things that can make your staff dislike change. Things like losing some/ all of their:

This article is about how you can help your team deal with the second of those.

Leadership, change and Purpose.

One of the effects of change can be that for some of your team their purpose disappears, that can cause huge personal struggles. Remember their purpose might not have been the same as yours.

“change for changes sake”

A common staff complaint is about change for changes sake, this is normally because the purpose wasn’t understood (note the difference between understood and explained).

Uncharted waters needs a compass.

What should I do to help maintain a sense of purpose in the team?

Look at the core values in the firm that are not changing, remind people about those. Being able to consistently see something meaningful is important at times of change, even if it’s only something to allow one to set a compass by.

Giving a clear and compelling purpose allows you to get away with giving less detail. Think of the old dot to dot pictures, if you can give the big dots, the shape is there and people can fill the rest in.

I was stuck in the motorway when thinking about this article, behind a M&S truck proclaiming their plans for change. You may believe, or not, in climate change but the communication is consistent through stores, trucks, staff comm’s and their PR. Their plan A aligns effort, it’s ambitious, links to values and motivates.

What’s your experience, have you found it more difficult to be motivated when you have lost your purpose?

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access

Photo used under creative commons licence. For more information, click here.