Change is constant. We must adapt to survive. But humans crave equilibrium and predictability. Usually, a few dissatisfied people will not impact your business. The risk is when those people are in strategic roles or it takes time to hire and onboard replacements -- especially now with the tight job market.
Sign up here to get the full edition of Leader Success Secrets in your inbox every week.
Change will cost your business when:
It's too QUIET. Engagement leads to commitment so if people are not truly engaged by proactively coming to leadership with their concerns, they are likely not committed and may demoralize others.
There's no concrete list of what's IMPEDING the change. My clients easily cite the positive drivers for the change, but the restraining drivers are sometimes ignored.
The old way wasn't properly MOURNED. Loss is a part of life for us. "We can never get full closure... but we can get a degree of closure," says Warner Burke, PhD, a giant in the field of organizational change.
How to immediately save your business from a run-away change project:
COMMUNICATE what you know, what you don't know, and when you'll give an update on what you don't know. Be vulnerable so people can trust you. Do this in team and 1:1 meetings.
IDENTIFY, with your executive team, the factors restraining the change. Research shows that by reducing restraining factors, the change has a better chance to succeed.
ASK open-ended questions about the change and the restraining factors. Encourage people to share their candid thoughts (because engagement leads to commitment). How you respond - in verbal and non-verbal ways - is critical!
Chris Duffy leads Amplify Leadership Partners, a leadership consulting and coaching firm with expertise in retaining and motivating talent to achieve organizational success. He received his master's in Organizational Psychology with a specialization in Change Management from Columbia University. He's based in Connecticut and works with clients nationwide.