Whether it’s a merger, re-organization, or downsizing it is difficult to motivate employees during times of upheaval. Why? Because most leaders are reading from the “playbook” handed to them by Legal and most likely the change is affecting them personally too. In Authenticity and Leadership I share why I believe Authenticity is at the top of the list of leadership traits. Genuine authenticity can be sensed. During times of upheaval it is critical that Leaders focus on being authentic – building trust and engaging their team. Leaders must inwardly reflect on the change and build an authentic plan to motivate their team.
A recent Forbes blog, Keeping Employees Motivated Through Transition shared that employees are understandably anxious during times of transition and it is the leader’s job to assure them it’s going to be okay. The blog further outlines a number of no nonsense tips to help a Leader manage through transitions. One of the major points is the need for the Leader to assume responsibility and manage the transition – use the playbook while making it personal to your team.
In Excelling as a People Manager, I shared my view on what it takes to be a good “people” manager and discussed the mundane but important aspects of people management. Engaging, Leading, Listening, and Communicating are critical aspects to motivating employees during times of change. Over the last few weeks, there have been a number of major downsizing announcements, such as AOL’s recent announcement. In cases such as these, it is critical that the Senior Leadership demonstrates Authentic Leadership and address head-on the difficultly involved in motivating employees. As Leaders of the organization they should actively discuss how to best motivate employees during times of change. In my opinion, it comes down to a few simple ideas that manager’s can act on and remain true to the “playbook”:
1. Personal growth pays dividends. Be creative, focus your attention on your employee’s personal growth through experiential learning – teaching something new each day.
2. Recognition is priceless. Share, share and share again. Your team is making it happen every day make sure you recognize their results daily and communicate it to everyone who will listen (and those who won’t).
3.Personalize it. Nothing means more to an employee than when you spend the time to personalize development and recognition by understand the needs of your employees.
And remember one size does not fit all.