2020 was a year that saw change at an expedient rate and was largely for most businesses reactive, home working became the norm and people learned new interpersonal skills as a result. This may have been a consequence of the imposed lockdown, however, it has proved to be a positive for people's development and business development. Interpersonal skills like how we communicate with each other (emotional Intelligence), resilience, and confidence have increased.
Managing change well is vital to the success of your Organisation, the wellbeing of your workforce, and ultimately to the bottom line and your business's sustainability. My whole business was developed as a direct result of my own personal experience when I had poor mental health because I did not take responsibility for my own Health and Wellbeing. This resulted in me leaving my job as a Head of Service in a Housing Association when I reached burnout. I was responsible for a number of change projects and on reflection there are a number of things I would do differently, to ensure that the wellbeing of all involved was paramount and in this blog, I will look at this in more detail.
Now is the time where businesses can take stock and review their approach to any change management projects before it commences.
Understanding the impact of Covid on your Organisation
Your most valued assets are your people, so it is vital that you take time to capture how your staff feels about how the pandemic has affected their wellbeing and the way they work and including the thoughts about any new proposed changes to the process as a direct result of COVID. Well-being should be your top priority. You can do this by carrying out staff surveys, having regular formal CPD 1-2-1’s, and also the opportunity to have informal conversations that put their wellbeing as the priority.
Supporting and preparing for impending change
Getting the right change team is crucial to any change management project's success. So when you are looking at choosing your stakeholders it is important to get a good mix of people from a cross-section of your Organisation. You will have a number of staff members that automatically spring to mind, that have the knowledge and competence to make it a success. I would urge you to consider their Interpersonal skills too and use them as an opportunity to help upskill others that are not so skilled in this area. They will feel valued and hopefully, it will increase their confidence.
Perhaps, explore their personal development interpersonal skills training needs first and we would be happy to explore this further with you, as part of a group exercise. We believe that it is far better to do this type of training as a group exercise so that the individual does not feel singled out, then it could be that this could continue on a 1-2-1 basis based on their own reflection. This will aid ownership and responsibility and lead to better accountability.
Change and managing the team
Once you have identified who you would like to include in the stakeholder team, and their interpersonal skills needs, it is useful to give them an opportunity to bond and get to know each other. This will encourage positive teamwork. You could start by having a team-building exercise or ice breaker as it is more commonly known. Get creative, it will vary, depending on the change management project goals. Examples could be like building things with lego or plasticine. Or using different IT platforms to collaborate on new fun campaigns for Social Media. The possibilities are endless.. It really is an opportunity to do this important step differently.
Effective relationships within a team can break or make a project, so invest time in helping those individuals connect better and explore their emotional intelligence. We can all collaborate better with improved communication skills, empathy, and understanding.
Leadership skills can be built on and you can find a great leader in the most unlikely places (or so you think, based on your own bias and opinions), and if you want to create a first-rate culture, it is important to remember that everyone has the potential to succeed. Take time to understand their current skillset and support them to look at their own strengths and areas for improvement.
Everyone has a Leadership style that is their biggest strength;
However to be an Effective Leader you need to have a blend of these styles and adapt to the environment, circumstances, and individual. Perhaps, you could recommend they read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders from Stephen R.Covey as a starting point or have it on a bookshelf in your office or on your staff intranet as a resource?
It could be that you see someone's potential and would like to nurture it, there are many trainers out there that could help, and if it’s an introduction to Leadership that you need, then giving us a call.
We want to ensure that your change management project is a successful one, so I hope you found this blog of use. Once you have the right blend of interpersonal skills in your team then you're more likely to succeed.
Give us a call to find out how we can help you manage to
change post COVID today on tel 07583474539.