I don’t think there is anyone who has evaded the change that the past year has brought. But beyond the changes that we’ve witnessed on a global scale, many organizations continue to weave in and out of the cyclical workplace developments. In a day and age where we have all felt deeply, mourned more, and witnessed the need for compassion in our world, our simple workplace processes cannot remain unaltered.
Each change our organization goes through—whether it be a series of layoffs, reorgs, mergers, or any big process change, we, as Caring Leaders, should be all the more present to our people. We must remember to turn our attention from the looming beast of change in front of us, to the people whose lives are being impacted all around us.
During these all too common organizational changes, do leaders go to the teams to make sure their needs are met? Do we make sure to cross the T’s and dot the I’s when it comes to our teams?
Does your change process reflect the voices of your employees?
If it doesn’t, then the next three things I am going to tell you will hopefully make you rethink the way you manage change.
The ROI of Inclusive Change
1. The first outcome of turning to your employees in times of change is something that every Caring Leader strives for each day: your employees will feel heard.
If you gather their feedback before, during, and after the change, they will feel like they belong. Their loyalty will be solidified by your caring for them through the simple act of listening and connecting the dots. The more you can decrease the gap between leadership and the frontline, the more structurally and mentally unified your organization will be.
2. The second benefit of involving your employees is the wealth of knowledge gained by communicating with frontline employees.
Leaders who spend the majority of their time in their ivory towers focusing on the 30,000 feet issues are limiting their sight to a very narrow portion of the business. They must expend the effort and stand at the front line engaging with the employees who know the ins and outs of the business and execute the work itself. Leaders have a wealth of knowledge in their frontline employees. This gain in education will set up the whole organization for success. The employees will witness the value and impact of their skills and knowledge and in turn, grow in loyalty and dedication.
3. The third reward is the expansion of the circle. When a Caring Leader welcomes other voices to the table, everyone reaps the rewards.
Your organization will see an increase in innovation and a strong promotion collaboration. Decision-making will be inclusive of people at all levels of the organization. Your employees will feel that they have stayed with the pack during the change, they won’t feel forgotten or cast aside and will remain loyal despite the changes.
My Own Experience
Personally, I have experienced the downside of a poorly managed organizational change. My old employer was going through two reorgs, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was a painful time. Hardly anything was communicated to the people in lower levels of the company. All of the leaders were caught up day-in and day-out in chaos control. It severely affected morale and we were left feeling unheard and disrespected.
I challenge each of you reading this to incorporate the voices of your employees into each organizational change, and experience the ROI of Caring Leadership. After a year of tumult, let’s stick together with our teams and support one another as we move towards a brighter future.