Tag: Change Management

How to Manage a Team to Success

How to Manage a Team to Success

Managing a team is a complex process, but developing your management skills will help you become an effective team leader who achieves significant results. Pay careful attention to talent management, change management and organizational management.

Talent Management

Talent management differs from employee management in the development process. Rather than abandoning team members to tasks, team leaders develop employee talent to benefit the team. Studies have shown that talent management can increase productivity and decrease turnover. There are many different strategies involved in talent management. Below, you will find a few strategies that will improve employee development and increase productivity.

Strategies:

  • Mentor: Develop mentorship programs, and team up new team members with more experienced ones.
  • Invest: Invest in effective training programs that develop individuals and make them feel valued.
  • Communicate: Communicate effectively, which involves active listening and being open and honest.
  • Evaluate: Choose tools and measures to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies such as surveys, employee feedback, productivity, etc.

Change Management

Change is inevitable in any organization. Unfortunately, human beings are not wired to accept change easily, so tensions may run high as people resist changes. You can help alleviate the stress associated with change with effective change management. Smoothly implementing change will reduce lost productivity as well as improve workplace culture.

The Process:

  1. Prepare:
  • Define the change: Identify the change, communicate with the team, and assess the needs as well as potential resistance.
  • Choose a team: Find team members to lead the change.
  • Sponsor: Determine how leadership will actively sponsor the change.
  1. Manage:
  • Develop plans: Create a change management plan and communicate the details.
  • Act: Implement the change management plan, and continue to communicate the expectations.
  1. Reinforce:
  • Analyze change: Use surveys and feedback to determine success.
  • Manage resistance: Understand the causes, look for gaps, and communicate the need for acceptance.
  • Correct or praise: Praise team members who implement change effectively, and give corrective actions for resistance.

Organizational Management

Organizational management is unique to each team, depending on structure. It assumes that each singular element is linked to others. The individual unit as a whole must be managed effectively. It requires planning that will lead to team goals.

In organizational management, each team member needs to be part of the plan. You begin with a wide scale plan, and work your way down to the individual team member level. The responsibilities outlined in the plan should fall along the organizational structure of the company. The structure is what links the different positions. For example, there may be regional managers, divisional managers, departmental managers, and team leaders who oversee different teams. The plan should reflect the distinct divisions. When this is done correctly, all team members will understand the expectations on them and how they contribute to the success of the company.

 

Building a Resilient Team

Building a Resilient Team
Image Source: nick fullerton

Resiliency is the ability to endure high levels of change while maintaining a high level of performance. There are commonly two things that resilient people do to increase their ability to manage change successfully. They either increase their capacity to absorb shock, or they work on reducing the amount of effort needed to successfully implement any one change.

Related: Resilience Outcome Based Team Building Activities

What is Resiliency?

Rather than an absolute characteristic, resilience is a combination of character traits in people. Resilient people tend to see more opportunities than non-resilient people. They tend to see life’s challenges and changes as beacons guiding them through life. They have an optimistic view of life that see each day as a new set of opportunities and choices. To them any disruption is merely a necessary part of adjusting to change. Less resilient people are likely to use defense mechanisms such as denial, distortion and delusions when faced with change. They tend to be reactive where resilient people are more proactive and willing to ask for help when needed.

Why is Resiliency Important for Your Team?

A Resilient team tends to grow stronger from the experience when they are confronted with the ambiguity, anxiety and loss of control that accompanies change. A team that is not resilient will tend to feel depleted from all the emotions that come with change. Resilient team members are able to make quicker and more effective adaptation to change. They understand that the future contains shifting variables, and are willing to remain loyal during periods of disruption. The individual members of your team may shift between sides of the resilience continuum, depending on the nature of the change experienced.

Practical Steps to Build Resiliency in Your Team

  • Help your team members to develop a more positive world view and self-image. Be aware of what you say to yourself and your team in an unfamiliar situation. Teach your team to identify opportunities in the challenges they face during a period of change. Get them to practice the habit of turning negatives into positives and taking a time out during a period of frustration. Make sure that you always stay positive as leader or coach of your team.
  • Maintain a sense of purpose towards the long term goals and priorities of your team. Get together with your team and discuss the team’s value system and sense of direction. Teach your team to be flexible and set new priorities when faced with disruption or change.
  • Encourage flexible thinking in your team so that they are able to explore different approaches for addressing uncertainty. Teach your team members not to assume that the first answer is the solution and to suspend judgment while they are experiencing change. Encourage the team members to record at least three negatives and three positives about every new idea or concept. You also want to encourage readiness in your team members to work in an unfamiliar role and to learn a different point of view.
  • Teach your team to use organized and structured approaches towards managing ambiguity. They should learn to quickly and effectively sort new information and find patterns in new situations. Encourage the use of planners and planning software to keep to-do lists, track plans, commitments and next steps for each change initiative. Help them to break down complex or ambiguous situations into manageable chunks.
  • Let your team experiment proactively with new approaches and solutions. Choose a small project and experiment with a new approach. Challenge your team by defining a worst-case scenario and asking them to list ways to address each risk. Find a successful risk-taker to talk to your team about their objections and concerns regarding change. Encourage your team to view a risk associated with change as a “win-win” situation and to determine what they can learn from each risk associated with change.

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How to Help Your Team Understand Change

Change is constant, and it is essential for your team to understand the nature of change. The effect of change on the individual influences all aspects of the team. Change often creates fear and uncertainty in a team; the members of your team need to understand the nature of change. They need to know what to expect when change happens and how to prepare for it.

Help Your Team Understand Change
Image Source:  GollyGforce

Causes of Change

The causes of change can either be internal or external. All teams are subject to external forces that are constantly interacting with its existence. Team members usually have little control over external factors such as politics, economics, technology, culture and societal changes. It is vital for them to understand that if the change is due to external factors, they need to accept the change and modify any internal processes affected by the external influence.

There are a wide range of internal factors influencing change that can include almost any item or event within a team. Some of the likely internal influences include policies, team structure, leadership and finances. Internal influences to changes can be controlled, and you can prepare your team for the outcomes of such events. Tools such as education, communication, training and support will help mitigate negative outcomes which may arise as a result of the change.

How People React to Change

Individuals react differently to change and understanding the different reactions to change will help you in managing changes. The following are some of the most common ways that people react to change.

  • Anger – Change can sometimes cause people to experience anger. Some team members may lash out and become uncooperative when confronted with change. Humans find comfort in their habits and changes may cause inner conflict which can manifest as anger.
  • Resistance – There will always be resistance to change that stems from a fear of the unknown. The fear of the unknown during the process of change may often lead to strong resistance within a team.
  • Indifference – Some of the members of the team may not care, or think the changes do not have much impact on their tasks. These individuals may be indifferent because they do not understand or accept the change.
  • Denial – Some of the team members may believe that the change is not required. These individuals may be reluctant to listen to – or deny – any information presented to support the change.
  • Acceptance – These team members realize that changes usually are for the better and can have a positive influence on the team. Acceptance may not happen right away but should happen quicker than if changes are experienced as negative.

Tools to Facilitate the Change Process

Preparing your team for the changes will increase the likelihood that the changes will be successfully implemented. The following are some tools that you can use to help facilitate the change process and deal with any negative reactions that may occur.

  • Education – Educate your team members on the reasons for the change and what the expected outcomes will be. People like to know why changes occur and educating your team members will clear up any rumors that may have spread.
  • Communication – It is vital to keep the channels of communication open during and after changes have occurred. Open communication will help with any unforeseen events that may arise. See also: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities
  • Training – Keep your team members trained to ensure they have the necessary skills to cope with the changes.
  • Flexibility – When change is planned for not all events can be foreseen. Be flexible and ready to revise or update the current plan to account for any unforeseen events.
  • Affected Parties – It is especially beneficial to have the individuals that are involved in the change participate in the change process. They may be able to shed light into the subject from an expert’s point of view.

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