If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. ~ Gail Sheehy
Managing change in organizations is not easy unless you have the right leadership in place. This is why finding the best change agents is essential for ensuring smooth transitions. You want to find people who have the right qualifications to move the company forward successfully. Identifying this type of leadership will make the process less stressful and give you the reassurance that goals will be met. However, finding those who are good at managing change in the workplace will also take some strategic planning. You can start by focusing on the top five qualities listed below to find strong leaders who will guide your company in the right direction.
Change Agents are Willing to Embrace New Ideas
Change is usually met with resistance because people are uncomfortable with the unknown. In my keynotes and seminars on managing change, I hear about it all the time! While this is to be expected, your change agents must not have this attitude. You want to find people who are excited about new ideas and willing to implement them with enthusiasm. Otherwise, you will have leaders who sabotage the process along the way. You also want change agents to be fully committed without any apprehension on their part. This will set the tone for others who are following these leaders and encourage them to work together toward the new goals.
Leaders Believe in the Big Picture of Growth
Managing change in the workplace effectively means that leaders must always have the big picture in their mind. The best companies are the ones that can grow to reflect the needs of their customers. Your employees might be in love with the same software they have used for the last five years; but if it doesn’t serve your increasing global customers, the business will be impacted. Leaders know how implementing changes will make their company grow and thrive. They also have the ability to communicate the big picture to their employees who can be confused and disappointed by new policies. By sharing this overall vision, the change agents will be more respected for making sure everyone understands the importance of the latest modifications.
Striving for Results Fuels Their Motivation
When it comes to managing change in organizations, staying on task is what great change agents do best. They are the first ones to realize that results will fuel their motivation and also increase their employees’ productivity. Especially when the changes that take longer to implement can be frustrating to employees who are relying on workarounds to get things done. Understanding this can happen; effective change agents will highlight benchmarks as progress is being made. They might also propose incentives that encourage their employees to meet milestones sooner which will make the goals more manageable.
Courage Comes Easily to Change Agents
Change agents who show courage will have the easiest time achieving their goals. They know it is not a matter of if a conflict will stand in their path but when it will appear. They are never afraid by this prospect and instead seize the opportunity to obtain a quick resolution. They are also attentive when managing change in the workplace because they know their demeanor is being evaluated by their employees! If they act uncertain or get easily distressed by obstacles, then others will be hesitant in following them. Good change agents know that staying calm and focused on the end result will make each conflict a temporary diversion that can be successfully rectified.
They Gain Trust and Develop Buy-In Successfully
Since change is usually a scary undertaking, employees want to follow people they can trust. When change agents are trusted by their employees, goals align and buy-in is achieved. Even though those relationships take time to establish, leaders can build a solid foundation by regularly communicating to their employees. Change agents will take extra time to share the overall vision and identify each employee’s specific role in achieving successful results. They will also select leaders within each group to assist them in establishing buy-in. This will reinforce the idea that employees are part of the change instead of something randomly happening to them.
Managing change in organizations takes the right leaders, process and perseverance to succeed. When all of these components are applied correctly you will develop an organization that not only survives transitions but also prospers. Hang in there!
About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert, Motivational Speaker
CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and motivational keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.
Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690 in Portland, Oregon.