How to motivate your team in times of change

At the recent Champions’ event, Glasgow Welcomes Lead Trainer Ian Hunt provided an interactive and informative session on strategies for Motivating your Team in Times of Change.

Ian said: “Change is inevitable within every business, whether it is a restructuring, a new boss, new job titles, a change in customer base, a new location, or for many other reasons. In fact many businesses are in a constant state of change.

“However, it is worth remembering that most people are creatures of habit so they might not like the change. All this means that as a business or team leader it is important that you handle change in the right way, so that people come on board with it rather than turning against it.

“There are many positive ways to help staff to embrace change, and leaders can learn how to motivate staff in times of change.”

10 tips for motivation in times of change:

1) Inclusion not exclusion: Include your staff - explain why the business must make changes and ask them to be involved in ideas about how to move forward. Be sure to consult with them and listen to their views.

2) Groups not solo: Talking to people in groups rather than one-to-one is more likely to create a positive environment. A single person might become defensive when talking about change, yet in a group they will be more likely to feel as though everyone is “in it together”.

3) Positive change: While change can be seen as threatening, it might also be viewed as an opportunity. Talk to staff about new challenges and the need for new skills but also about how this could be exciting and could lead to new opportunities for them and the business.

4) Innovation not change: Using a different – and more positive – language can help with periods of change. So you could talk to staff about a “need for innovation” to thrive as a business rather than talking about a “need for change”.

5) Use the CENTRIC model:

C is for Creativity: Allow people to be creative and come up with ideas for change.

E is for enthusiasm: Look for enthusiastic leaders who can help with motivation for change among staff.

N is for networking: Listen to how staff feel about change.

T is for teams and talent: Find the right people among your team to help with motivation during times of change. They can help you to get other staff on board.

R is for R&D and risk: Look at different ways to be “innovative” in time of change and think about the risks.

I is for Ideas-makers: Encourage new ideas from staff about positive changes.

C is for customers and collaboration: To develop ideas for change talk to customers and consult with others.

6) Make people feel safe: It isn’t change that creates anxiety, but the uncertainty about the changes. Talking about change and the positives that might come from it will allow them to feel safer during the period of change.

7) Overcome resistance: It can be difficult to show staff that change is needed but if you can show them why and how, and give them examples of successful change in other businesses, this will be more likely to create a positive environment.

8) Understand your team: We all react to change in different ways. Some resist, some are not interested and some thrive. If you can understand the team members who will react in these ways, you will be able to adapt your style as a leader to accommodate this – and then help each member to see the change in a positive way.

9) Think PIE when planning changes: P is for participation I is for information E is for enthusiasm.

10) A useful reminder: Your life or business does not progress by chance. It improves through positive change.

Note: This useful topic had been requested by those businesses in attendance at previous Champions events. Don’t forget to let us know which topics you would like us to include on future event programmes by contacting us at [email protected] We look forward to hearing from you!

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