How do I get my employees to change?
Change is not a matter of time, it´s a matter of commitment.
If you want to provoke change, create a proper culture. Instead of taking control, give it away. In order for you to create a proper culture you must reduce control systems. Control is achieved when people control themselves.
Don´t give orders, but ask questions like: What would you do? What do you suggest? It´s not an easy task, but you must control your tendency towards giving orders or transmitting messages that undermine the propriety and responsibility of your subordinates.
Don´t just preach and hope a proper culture will develop itself, you must cultivate it and implement schemes that bestow authority and allow each employee to feel entitled. You must be very clear on who´s responsible in order to avoid the employee´s tendency towards delegating decisions to upper levels. Give the authority to decide to those who receive the information, instead of moving the information toward the authority, move the authority toward the information.
There´s a natural resistance to change that makes many strategies fail. To create change in your organization, you must apply the following formula:
Amount of change = Dissatisfaction + Vision + Process – Cost of change
Dissatisfaction: to create change you must produce an atmosphere of dissatisfaction with the current situation and generate feelings of need for change. On occasion, creating a crisis and setting a sense of urgency works.
Vision: a powerful vision is a great ally for change. An ambitious challenge bonds the team together and stimulates it to reach the goal.
Don´t try to convince others on the need for change with numbers and statistics, do it with visual evidence as visuals are very powerful. Make the team personally experience the pain that the client feels due to our current way of operating.
Process: Involve your employees in the decision. Change will be seen as the enemy when you suggest it to your team, but will be embraced as an opportunity if your team proposes it. They´re the ones who must set their own goals, so they´ll commit themselves and you can demand their completion on the dates set for each challenge.
Don´t try to change everything all at once. Break down your ultimate goal into smaller, specific and achievable objectives. You can´t eat an elephant all at once, but you can do it piece by piece. Start with a leg. Use metrics and short-term milestones to gauge progress.
Cost of change: to create change you must first understand the points of resistance: What do people lose with this change? It´s natural for there to be resistance, because you´re taking them out of their comfort zone. People are comfortable with what´s familiar and anything new makes them anxious. They´ll believe the new situation poses risks or it can hurt them.
People only change once they understand the pain that the lack of change can produce in them is greater than the discomfort they feel from the need to change. People are comfortable with the status quo and fear new ideas.
Once you´ve got everybody on board, you must create small victories, point them out and celebrate them. Small goals lead to small victories which in turn trigger a virtuous circle of behaviour.
Above all, you must over-communicate. Don´t be afraid of exceeding yourself, you´ll never communicate too much. You´ll be surprised at the number of misinformed people that still exist, even after repeated internal communication.
In an organization where I worked, I thought I had clearly conveyed the strategy. To confirm this, I asked all members of my team to write down their vision of the strategy. I was appalled by the scattering of answers and lack of alignment. Try it on your team and you´ll see.
Does everyone in your company know what your core business is? What your differential value is?
We must not only motivate them rationally, but also emotionally. People only change if their hearts change, if their hearts are touched. To touch it, they must see you put all your heart into it.
Positive examples from colleagues are contagious, as are negative ones. That´s why it´s important that you ask any toxic collaborators, those who create discouragement, to exit the team.
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