Organizational change can be hard. Too many businesses today go through transformation and fail to make it to the other side. In fact, a study by Harvard Business Review found that about 70% of all business transformation efforts result in failure. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to raise your chances of success, most of which center around quality leadership communication.
Here are five things leaders like you should keep in mind when facing business transformation, big or small.
Employee engagement should be a top priority for any business leader, but especially one navigating major organizational change. Your team will turn to you to set the tone for the entire process, so keep communication consistent. Check in regularly to ask your employees how they are feeling, truly listen to their responses, and act accordingly to increase your chances of success.
Big change often comes with big question marks, and it’s your job as a leader to deliver answers. In fact, you should be encouraging your team to ask as many questions as they can to gain buy-in. Resist the urge to take these questions personally as an attempt to undermine your leadership, but rather view them as opportunities to align interests. So, when a team member ass for clarification on a change initiative, take a deep breath and remember the end goal.
The best leaders have vision and know how to communicate that vision to their teams and stakeholders. Every business transformation comes with a story–keeping this narrative in mind will help you communicate the bigger picture and rally your troops. Simply driving home the change initiative rather than sharing the why behind it is a common, and avoidable, mistake.
There’s a reason change is so hard–oftentimes, business disruption comes with many unknowns and tough transitions. The best leaders know how to keep an open mind and employ patience. Most people react to change differently, so stay empathetic to your team’s needs during this trying time.
Have questions about this? Need help navigating change? Learn how the Leadership Mindset Series can help leaders change their businesses and the world for the better.