I’m honored to present Leadership Trainings all over the world; one of my most popular trainings is How to Manage C.H.A.N.G.E. I share easy-to-use and common-sense concepts leaders, employees, and people can use to manage professional and personal change. COVID did a number on many organizations; less employees doing more work or one employee absorbing the tasks of several others. Perhaps your company is merging with another and not only are your people struggling with the change, the stress of potentially losing their jobs, but also the overload of new responsibilities. Perhaps the company is new or experiencing leadership change and the Org-Chart is a mess and no one knows who the leader is or who to report to… that’s always fun!
A Leader’s H.E.L.P takes How to Manage C.H.A.N.G.E. a bit further… As a leader, how can you help your people who are overburdened and struggling with professional change?
I’ve had the professional pain and privilege of being on both sides of many things… I’ve been a great employee under great leadership, a horrible employee under poor leadership, a great employee under bad leadership, and a great leader (hopefully my staff would say the same) through necessary transition. It comes down to two options; H.E.L.P. your people, team, and organization evolve and success… or manage them and the process until they burn out and leave or get bitter and stay. So, what to do?
H. – Heart!
It’s easy to get busy being busy in times of crisis, change, deadlines, and transition. There’s so much old stuff to continue or finish up and so much new stuff to learn and implement. You put your blinders on, head down, and plow forward to meet the demands and get the job done. However, as a leader… you may be missing the bigger picture. How are you people really doing, what do they need most, can you provide, it, or get creative with it? You know the anxiety and stress you’re under… be sure to have a heart and empathy for what it must be like for your people.
I’ve found most employees want to be good at their job, want to be acknowledged in some way for their efforts, and want to believe in the vision and mission of the organization! When things are in flux organizationally… you don’t have to wait for the people at the top to deliver the speech that saves the nation. YOU can do two things:
- Have a heart and empathize with what your people are going through, why they’re going through it, and what they need most? That means we take time to be curious and ask questions such as; “What do you like most about the changes? What’s the hardest part about the changes?”. When you can do something about it… great! When it’s out of your control… provide possible self-care measures. I’ve been asked on many occasions to provide Work/Life Harmony Trainings for organizations; as some companies may not be able to control the dynamics it takes to bounce back from crisis or the effects COVID had on their business.
- Instead of waiting for the vision and plans from up above to impact your team… YOU, as a leader, come up with a Vision for your team, the Vision Factors (3-5 things that when done consistently the vision comes true, The expectations for your team, and rules that will allow production, productivity, and passion.
In the face of immense organizational stress, the vision may be to maintain team unity and elite customer service
The Vision Factors may be:
- Mandatory 1-on-1 Meetings 1x per month with each employee
- Customer Service Enhancement Meeting 1x per week – what did you do great with a customer, how did you best fix a problem, and/or what’s the common issue causing customer dissatisfaction and solve it
- Will engage with co-workers and customers with smile, solution-focused attitude, and great manners
The Expectation may be: Engage professionally in a positive manner, sharing ideas, and using language that builds up your leaders, co-workers, customers, and the organization. I know this isn’t possible 100% of the time… we’re all human. I share my concept of venting appropriately in my Trainings. When venting is necessary; be sure it’s to people that can actually help, it’s time-limited, and it’s solution-focused!
My rules have been the same for years; perhaps you have your own or prefer to marry mine and yours:
- Be on time
- After 3-4 emails… let’s get on a call or Zoom to get on the same page
- Please accompany your problem with a suggested solution! One of three things will happen: Either we will go with your idea, collaborate to fine-tune the idea to fit into the bigger picture, or not use the idea and I can explain how it’s not in the current Vision Factors… when the idea can be transformed to fit… YES, let’s do it!
E. – Emergency
When your people are experiencing massive levels of transition the help they need must be an EMERGENCY to leadership! Think what it would feel like if you brought a problem to your higher-up and they treat it as an emergency. This doesn’t mean your people will always get what they want, need, or more dangerously… what they feel they deserve. It simply means, you made time and took time to listen, you address it, and set time with your people to follow up!
Most people can respect a “No” as much as a “Yes” when they know you took their problem seriously and did all you could! A leader’s response to a vent may sound like, “Thanks so much for sharing this with me. I want to give this some thought and get back to you later in the week. How’s Thursday at 2:00pm or Friday at 10:00am”. This short, yet powerful statement will enhance and protect your leadership… while also raising theirs… as long as you follow through! You’ve protected your time and can now go back to your definition of “Busy and Productive”.. and so can they. They also have to exhibit their leadership by selecting one of the designated times and showing up… Let’s see how they do!
Now it’s time to leverage what you possess as a leader! As your people are overburdened or experiencing massive transition; leverage their professional superpower to meet the changing needs of the company. Sometimes what people were initially hired to do has evolved, they’ve changed, or the company now needs something else. Be sure your people are STILL in the right seat to maximize their superpower, set up trainings to enhance their strongest and weakest skills (as a group or personally).
P. – Plan
It would be a crime against your leadership to have a heart, treat their problem like an emergency, create leverage, and not have a best plan to move forward. It sounds like a given; however, how many times has “Busy” beat you and others out of following-through? Remember, when you wait too long their problem may have changed or multiplied… making your plan obsolete! Be curious about what’s needed that will positively impact your people either professionally, personally, or both. Treat it as an emergency, leverage opportunity to create impact, and be sure your plan:
- Allows them to utilize their Superpower
- Improves their strengths and weaknesses
- Creates opportunity to positively impact the organization and customer/client satisfaction
When you have done a Leader’s H.E.L.P and employees are still checked-out or negative… it may be time for that tough conversation we all must be willing and capable of having as leaders to create win-wins. A win they may be happier and more beneficial somewhere else and a win for your team and organization to fill their vacancy with someone more aligned with the Vision, Expectations, and Rules of your team. At the end of the day, Leadership comes down to results and connection… when your team is not performing, meeting agreed-upon expectations, and rules it may be time to H.E.L.P. change for the positive!
Most employees can respect a “No” as much as a “Yes” when they know you took their problem seriously and did all you could as a leader… Be Mindful! – Andre Young
Written by: Andre Young
Enhance Leadership and Work/Life Harmony in your Organization, your Leaders, Employees, and Teams with Andre Young’s Speaking Engagements, Evolve & Lead Training Programs (on-site, online, or virtual), and1-on-1 Growth Sessions! www.youevolvingnow.com