5 Everyday Actions That Inspire Employees to Embrace Change
As a senior business leader, you know that embracing change is a must in today's fast-paced business environment. To stay ahead of the curve, companies must be agile and innovative, harness technology, and create new opportunities. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Implementing change is notoriously difficult for organizations, largely due to resistance from employees who aren’t equipped with the right mindset and skills for embracing change in the workplace.
Business leaders are influential in inspiring their employees to accept workplace change and use it to their advantage. And while the occassional rousing speech can boost motivation, it’s only temporary. Real, lasting change in employee mindsets comes from taking consistent, daily actions that inspire your teams to view change as necessary, positive, and full of opportunity. Here are five everyday actions you can take to encourage your team to embrace change in the workplace and ultimately build an agile workforce.
1. Tell success stories about embracing change in the workplace
Don’t underestimate the power of stories when trying to inspire action. Asking your team to work in shifting landscapes, outside of familiar structures and processes, creates uncertainty. People need reassurance that this can (and does) translate to new possibilities. Hearing narratives of successful transitions can offer comfort and give a clear depiction of what it means to break away from the norm.
Your stories are most compelling when they’re meaningful to your team members, relate to their challenges, and offer takeaways that can help their situation. Highlight the advantages that both the individuals and the company experienced as a result of their willingness to embrace change.
Your examples can come from anywhere, from real-life change outside of work or an instance from your professional life. Better yet, remind your team of their past successes when thrown into disruption. And make it a habit to spotlight employees who did something differently and created positive outcomes. This way, you show your team that making change is both good and encouraged.
2. Ask “what if” questions to push boundaries
If you want to help your team be bold and innovative, ask questions that push them to think outside the box. Don’t limit your questions to slight modifications of the status quo. Ask questions that probe current boundaries and limitations. As a result, your team will start to think innovatively. You can ask questions like: “What if we had to build this process from scratch? What would we do differently?” or “What if our main product suddenly became obsolete?”
Such questions may seem far-fetched, but they prepare you to handle sudden disruptions. And often, the seemingly absurd happens: think about how many industries saw their main products become obsolete thanks to the pandemic disruption! Asking these hypotheticals encourages your team to expect the unexpected, think creatively, and respond to uncertainty on their feet. You can do this in team brainstorming sessions and also in one-on-one meetings.
3. Break change readiness into micro tasks
When you set change preparedness as the ultimate goal, it can be daunting for employees since the objective is too vague and intangible. But if you can translate this objective into tangible and manageable actions, you make it easier for your team to understand how to embrace change in the workplace.
Volonte’s comprehensive change readiness platform equips you with everything you need to do this. Our Workflow Builder enables you to break down any change process into a guided roadmap with bite-sized tasks that can be assigned to any number of employees. For instance, you can assign curated content on change topics from the Volonte Newsfeed on a weekly basis to help your employees continuously think positively about change. These are also helpful when you’re going through a new change initiative, such as a digital transformation or merger/acquisition.
4. Open conversations about the emotional experience of change
Workplaces don’t often talk about feelings. But to lean into change, you need to help employees acknowledge that change is difficult and it stirs up emotions. Try scheduling 30-minute conversations with your team to discuss how they’re feeling about ongoing changes and the actions they can take to make a difference. Define the purpose of the meeting and encourage employees to discuss how the change affects them at each instance. Invite them to suggest actions the group can take to influence the situation. Your goal is to help your employees move from a place of reacting to change, to being able to take positive action.
5. Champion internal mobility and cross-department collaboration
Your employees will get better at embracing change in the workplace when they learn from new perspectives and put newly acquired skills into practice. To do this, push your team to collaborate with external stakeholders. Perhaps you suggest they reach out to other parts of the organization that could share a valuable perspective. Urge employees to sign up for internal projects with cross-functional teams (on the Volonte platform, you can list these on the Project Board). When employees see you champion internal mobility, they’ll see that their company supports their growth and won’t worry about holding back for fear of rocking the boat.
Winning teams build workforce agility into the heart of their culture. By helping your team exercise their change muscles on a daily basis, you’re equipping them to handle disruptions without skipping a beat. What’s more, you help make change an empowering and positive experience instead of a terrifying one.
Are you ready to transform your team into a change-ready powerhouse? Book a Volonte demo today!