How to Prepare Your People to Thrive Through Change

Organisational change can impact expectations, ways of working, policy, systems and process. So how can you ensure your people are well equipped to effectively handle and adapt to these changes, and that those changes really stick to deliver the outcomes you are looking for?

It’s our experience that organisations that focus on preparing their people with the right mindset and skills to personally engage with, and manage change, before moving ahead with them, gain more momentum for, and success in, the change process.  In any transformational change programme, having everyone capable to understand and manage their emotions, equipped with tools to help think through the options and implications of change and understanding how to respond to the change itself, lays a solid foundation to enable people to get involved in a more positive and productive way.

In this blog, we discuss how to effectively prepare your people to handle transformational change in the workplace, what mindset and behaviours will help them adapt and thrive, and how to drive employee and team engagement. We give you a proven framework for managing your people through the change process, ensuring those changes are embedded and sustained whilst equipping people with practical and empowering strategies to manage themselves.

A believable case for change

Accepting, adapting and engaging with change, happens when people believe there is a good reason behind it.  Creating a case that people can buy into and one that they see as believable is an important first step.  An organisation-wide understanding of what will make that case for team members, and being sensitive to the challenges or aspirations in different business areas, will help craft the compelling reasons for people to personally get involved.  For example, in our experience, the reasons frontline staff see as driving a particular change, can be very different to the drivers that are understood and critical to those in strategic positions. It is so vital that this case for change must appeal to people directly – they can then buy into it and feel that it will have a positive impact on them personally. With this in place, you will have oiled the wheels for change by bringing your people on the journey with you, and showing understanding, from the very beginning.

Ensuring your people are ready for change and equipped with tools to manage it

Once your teams believe the change is needed then attention can turn towards preparing them and equipping them with the tools they need to handle whatever comes their way.

Positively and productively supporting your people to adapt and change the way they work requires a structured and engaging process. Any implemented training needs to equip everyone with the self-management, mindset and behavioural capability to cope with whatever demands the change brings. Teams need to have a collective mindset of ownership and responsibility, optimism, respect for each other and a strong belief that they really can and do make a difference.

Team members and leaders alike need to be able to:

·   Critically evaluate situations and pro-actively come up with options, alternatives and solutions

·   Self-manage their emotions and responses to the changes needed

·   Build and maintain positive momentum through effective, positive and constructive communication

·   Display excellent levels of collaboration, co-creation and co-operation with their peers and teams

At MGI, our toolkit and training focus on four essential building blocks to help equip staff to not only handle change but to thrive through it. These are:

1) Awareness – developing a real awareness of yourself and others

2) Mindset – a shared mindset of ownership, responsibility, respect and belief in your capabilities

3) Collaboration and co-creation – great teamwork through active involvement, questioning and supportive behaviours

4) Communication – positive communication and language that builds two-way trust

Embedding the skills for long term success

This positive mindset and behaviour needs to be sustainable and widely embedded to make a clear and measurable difference to the business metrics you are hoping to transform, such as employee engagement levels, employee satisfaction scores and productivity levels. Helping people to positively change the way they work and behave requires an engaging training process and a set of practical tools that can always be to hand to use in any situation. The MGI tools are observable, measurable and therefore coachable which is important because it is the collective use of such tools that creates the cultural shift needed to reach the outcomes you are looking for, both now and in the future.

Putting in place a programme which develops people ready to embrace change, will set firm foundations for a successful change programme whatever the change required. Putting this in place before any changes to systems, policy or process will enable people to more readily engage in the change process with the right mindset and behavioural skills to make it even more successful.

If you think we can help your business, arrange a conversation with us, and we can tell you more about our Transformational Change Training Programmes and Toolkit.

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