It’s time for a change. The change is identified, plans drawn up and schedule is made. Now comes the difficult part: earning your team’s support.
Their buy-in is crucial to transforming any organization, whether it’s a local small business or a massive corporate conglomerate. Why? It means the change – whether it’s new policies, branding, initiatives – is consistently implemented day after day, becoming the new norm. Without their enthusiasm, the effort remains simply an idea. But their investment means that they will help make it a reality.
But the big question remains: How do you earn their support? Communicate. Sure, on the surface, it appears simple: Share your vision, your motivation, and your plan to inspire and excite staff about the transition. But communication isn’t always easy, especially when you need to rally the troops behind a cause. Watch out for these four major mistakes leaders make when trying to earn their staff’s support:
Don’t blame your team
Constructive criticism inspires; blame does not. Whether your team is responsible for the need for change or not, putting them at fault will only create discord in an already uncertain time. Instead, put the past behind you, adjust, and move forward.
Avoid creating (more) uncertainty
If employee buy-in is the lifeblood of your initiative, uncertainty is its kryptonite. Worried employees tend to be more distracted and less productive – exactly the opposite of the inspired staff you need to support change. Create transparency in the change initiative and implementation process to dispel as much uncertainty as possible.
Monkey say, monkey do
Your actions, even something as simple as sticking to an eight-hour workday, sets standards for your employees to follow. The same applies when encouraging staff to support change initiatives in the organization. Don’t just ask them to make the change; lead by example.
The power of honesty
As kids we learn the importance of telling the truth. Channel your inner kid to be as honest and transparent as possible with your staff. In order to get them to support your initiative, they need to feel like you’re on their side throughout these times of change.
Whatever your size or industry, the secret to gaining employee buy-in is simple: communicate. Be the leader your staff needs to motivate and inspire them to make the change.