We’re in changing times

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There’s no doubt that the last year has thrown up more change than many of us could have envisaged or planned for.

By Louisa Scanlan, director, Collaborate Business Solutions.

Businesses are used to dealing with change and uncertainty, from the impact of managing increasing customer expectations or legislative changes, the sheer volume is ever increasing.

For business leaders this requires careful thought and management. People deal with change in different ways and understanding these reactions is important when considering your response.

Successful leadership during change and uncertainty should focus on the following elements:

Leading with empathy

Leaders should show empathy to all employees, from those who are able to adapt rapidly and those who take more time to understand the change and its impacts. When the outcomes of the change are unclear, it can be hard to engage but keep talking to your employees and gauge how they are feeling.

Think about being a “we” leader, acknowledge that you are going through the change with them and will experience some of the same feelings.

Clarity of message

When you have a message and information to share, be clear, concise and honest. Update employees as frequently as possible and if you commit to communicate at certain times, do so, even if you have nothing specific to tell people. Be visible and approachable.

More than just an employee

Leaders need to appreciate that employees have more than just their work lives. The change at work could be just one thing they are dealing with and this can impact on the approach you need to adopt.

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