Leadership that Works Effectively: Part IV
In Parts I through III, of this blog series, we acknowledged that leaders who work effectively, above all, remember, that their success is dependent on their employees’ effective execution of strategy and willingness to go above and beyond when necessary to achieve success. We also explored how best to engage each stakeholder group building trust, relationship and long-term commitment and believe for success. In this blog post, lets take a look at the last five remaining guidelines for leaders who want to achieve success when implementing necessary strategic change.
Guidelines 3 through 7: Explored
#3. Set reasonable timelines and create a well-articulated engagement plan to ensure all stakeholders feel included in the change process.
a. Articulate reasonable timelines anticipating employee, customer and other stakeholders’ anxiety.
b. Discuss the timeline for planning and executing anticipated changes with stakeholder groups acknowledging that the timeline may need adjustments as implementation gets underway. This creates a sense of partnership and begins to build trust. Be upfront with the information available. Be truthful when information is not known. Acknowledge the journey of change includes operating with some level of uncertainty
c. Remember in large part, change requires willingness from leaders, employees and other stakeholder groups to embrace the unknown with flexibility and some level trust.
#4. Establish clear definition of roles during change process for individuals at all levels.
a. Establish clear roles for all groups to ensure that employees, managers and even other stakeholder become part owners of the change process and strategies supporting one another through the unknown.
b. Develop reasonable work plans with necessary tasks, deliverables and deadlines appropriate for individual and/or group roles.
c. Create a team environment supporting employees through change.
#5. Create visible strategies for celebrating employee contributions past, present and expected.
a. Plan opportunities that build morale and good will across the institution. Change is difficult and transitions produce fear for most. You want to create an atmosphere of good will where everyone feels safe asking questions, raising concerns and/or supporting plans.
b. Build time to acknowledge individual as well as team contributions.
c. Share the strategic plans and direction of the institution. Especially share shifts in the change strategy. People do not react well to surprises.
d. Acknowledge stakeholder groups engaged and excited for the future visibly.
#6. Develop a clearly delineated strategic plan outlining vision, objectives and future direction with stakeholder input.
a. Engage all stakeholder groups in development of the strategic plan.
b. Access stakeholder wisdom.
c. Communicate clearly and timely with all stakeholder groups.
d. Exercise openness and candidness. Treat people responsibly and respectfully.
#7. Provide ample notice and supports to those who will be impacted negatively by change most directly.
a. Expect that change will have a negative impact on some employees and/or stakeholder groups.
i. Don’t cover up the truth; employees are adults who appreciate knowing the reality; it helps them make plans.
ii. Give clear and factual information.
iii. Provide support services for employees that you know will loose employment as a result of structural changes.
iv. Do not discuss individual employee situations outside of HR and their supervisor; rumors travel fast. Making sure people are treated in a dignified manner is critical.
b. Manage and monitor rumors with intentionality. Address and/or respond to rumors promptly.
c. Treat people responsibly and with respect.
Leadership that works effectively acknowledges that transitions of all types are challenging especially for adults when their well-being and future stability are compromised.
You must pay attention to your reputation as an employer during transition. Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful marketing tools, especially on today’s open social media channels.
Be wise engage effectively, act with kindness and exercise genuine open dialogue. Don’t underestimate your stakeholders; they are your allies.
I hope you enjoyed this leadership series; stay tune for new topics.