I know a little something about change management and restructuring.
Other than the federal government (and we all see how stable that is right now), there is not a company or division on my entire adult, full-length resume that is still in business.
(Mortgage Banker Alumni, Class of 2008 Housing Crisis)
After the rises and crashes of the past 20 years across many industries, leaders and managers are still missing HUGE opportunities for growth and loyalty during reorganizations, layoffs, and business shifts.
It truly boggles my mind.
Whether you’re a CEO of a company re-org or a parent navigating a rough patch in your home life, remember these 11 things the next time you are managing a major change:
- The uncertainty is not forever and it won’t kill you. Have perspective.
- Keep the beginning stages of situational assessment as quiet as possible.
- Don’t hoard information once the cat is out of the bag. Rumors lead to toxicity and decreased production.
- Work still needs to get done. Focus on your next step.
- Give regular updates to your staff.
- Saying “I don’t know, but here’s where we’re headed/what I think” will suffice from time to time.
- Spread your meetings/telcons/office appearances out. “Back-to-backs” for consecutive days make your employees nervous.
- Let them see you laugh, genuinely.
- Be as approachable, transparent, strong, respectful, and swift, as possible.
- Regardless of how much you disagree with a policy or decision maker, don’t participate in tear-downs.
- Never, EVER let your employees or family hear of pending change from:
- an accidentally left-open email, meeting notes, or calendar entry
- another department or family member
- an outsider
- and the tackiest of bad management, the media.
Let your people be a part of the process. They will be more productive, loyal, and willing to adapt because YOU were an awesome leader!