I am leaving tomorrow to deliver an address at a major college on the East Coast. In my pre-program survey, resiliency questions abound related to organizational change, annual re-orgs, shifting focus, competing demands—and so much more. And the attendees are befuddled, bemused, bewitched, and bewildered.
Five tips for leaders who want to create a resilient workforce:
Level with everyone. Change happens. Period. All organizations, individual, plants and animals experience change. The question is: how do we reframe it from being painful to possible, A leader reframes that vision.It’s not move to a new building (ye, gads!) The reframe is: Yahoo, we get to throw out whatever cutter we have been hoarding, meet new people, and have a different view from our window.
Work through scenarios of what the “new world” will look like and what behaviors will be required of the staff.Perhaps the staff will need to think on their own without the presence of a manager.Perhaps the staff will need to self-organize depending upon the individual project. Perhaps the staff will need to learn new tools and methodologies.
Identify the “guard rails”. If there were behavior models that worked in the “old world” that will not work in the new, what are they, How will you models those new behaviors?
Let people know how they are doing with the change.Celebrate performance. Celebrate little shifts. Don’t wait for the 180-degree change.Be the change YOU wish to see.Not my quote: Gandhi’s. You model the behavior that you want to see in the new world.
Accept that not everyone can’t make the change. Mary Jane has been with the company for 25 years. But today, her performance is slipping. The technology and speed are too overwhelming.
Understand. Provide training, guidance, encouragement. And, at some point, keeping low performers in a changing world hurts everyone.Allow people to leave with their dignity intact and valuing what contributions brought them to this place in time.
Everyone will thank you.