New year, new direction – how to get your team on board with change

Just like setting new year resolutions and goals, the start of a new year can also be a time of refocusing and resetting for businesses. In some cases, this might mean mixing things up a bit in your organisation, implementing new policies or processes, or challenging how things are done. As a business owner, the idea of a new direction or project can be exciting – however getting your team on board with change is one of the biggest challenges we face.

So before you introduce your team to a long list of changes – here’s three questions you need to be able to answer to ensure your team embrace the new year with the same attitude as you:

  1. What’s the change? Be able to clearly describe what system or process you propose to change and how you will change it. If you’re team is very detailed – draft a new policy or set of instructions that they can follow, it will increase the comfort factor by eliminating the unknown.
  2.  Why is the change being made? When people are asked to do something with little or no reasoning, it’s unlikely they’ll fully embrace the proposed change. It’s also important as a business leader that you fully understand why the change is important, and can articulate that to your team.If your change is solving a current pain or problem, run a team activity to brainstorm potential solutions – this can help your team to “own” elements of the change – we are more likely to own what we help to create.
  3. How will the change affect me? Change is rarely easy to implement because people almost always think that their current situation is good or at least good enough. So to help implement change in the face of this mindset – offer an alternative that provides greater benefits. The unknown can be stressful for some team members – but you can preempt push-back and  be prepared by highlighting how it will effect team members, and how the change will make a task / role / process better.

Organisational change isn’t easy – but with a little thought and forward planning you can get your team on board and collaborate for effective change together.