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Lead Staff through Change

Avoid change failure with effective people management skills.

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  • Interviews with 9 Human Resources and Leadership professionals.
  • Fielded two 8 question surveys with 339 respondents (218 managers and 121 staff members).
  • Sixty to ninety percent of change initiatives fail, costing organizations dollars off the bottom line and lost productivity.
  • Seventy percent of change initiatives fail because of people-related issues, which place a major burden on managers to drive change initiatives successfully.
  • Managers are often too busy focusing on the process elements of change; as a result, they neglect major opportunities to leverage and mitigate staff behaviors that affect the entire team.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Change is costly, but failed change is extremely costly. Managing change right the first time is worth the time and effort.
  • Staff pose the biggest opportunity and risk when implementing a change – managers must focus on their teams in order to maintain positive change momentum.
  • Large and small changes require the same change process to be followed but at different scales.
  • The size of a change must be measured according to the level of impact the change will have on staff, not how executives and managers perceive the change.
  • To effectively lead their staff through change, managers must anticipate staff reaction to change, develop a communication plan, introduce the change well, help their staff let go of old behaviors while learning new ones, and motivate their staff to adopt the change.

Impact and Result

  • Anticipate and respond to staff questions about the change in order to keep messages consistent, organized, and clear.
  • Manage staff based on their specific concerns and change personas to get the best out of your team during the transition through change.
  • Maintain a feedback loop between staff, executives, and other departments in order to maintain the change momentum and reduce angst throughout the process.

Research & Tools

1. Learn how to manage people throughout the change process

Set up a successful change adoption.

2. Learn the intricacies of the change personas

Correctly identify which persona most closely resembles individual staff members.

3. Assess the impact of change on staff

Ensure enough time and effort is allocated in advance to people change management.

4. Organize change communications messages for a small change

Ensure consistency and clarity in change messages to staff.

5. Organize change communications messages for a large change

Ensure consistency and clarity in change messages to staff.

6. Evaluate leadership of the change process with the team

Improve people change management for future change initiatives.

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Search Code: 75535
Published: July 22, 2014
Last Revised: July 22, 2014

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