We all have a bias towards certainty, some more than others. For many, certainty means security and comfort. It means not having to acknowledge the fear we find in the prospect of change. It might mean we have to let go of how hard we’ve worked to reach this point of comfort and to keep the status quo. It might appear too complex and taxing to plan for and adapt to the change. Or, we may enjoy what we are doing at work and the way we are doing it.
Managing change one step at a time
As a supervisor, it’s safe to assume you have less of a bias towards certainty. You’re likely to have a greater appetite for change than your colleagues. But just because you may be comfortable with change, it doesn’t mean the staff you supervise are.
Implementing small changes is much easier to adapt to than one big change. For some staff, too much too soon can be overwhelming.
Yet, a big change is nothing but a series of small change steps. You and your team are far better placed to tweak processes and/or performance over time rather than introduce one grand plan for change.
Focus on each team member individually
Your role as a leader is to understand the strategic direction of the business. Along with your manager, you should be able to scale this down into small chunks for each position/role within your team.
To achieve the larger change plan without unsettling staff, you are best place to:
- Meet with each staff member and explain the strategic direction of the business;
- Assure staff that the roll out phase for this change is over a certain time frame;
- Design an agreed change strategy with each individual staff member;
- Get feedback from each staff member for each change period and agree the frequency of discussions you will have in 1-1 meetings;
- Document this with detailed minutes (which you provide to the team member);
- Send calendar invites for each forward planned feedback meeting;
- Then set about giving frequent (at least weekly, if not daily) informal feedback to each staff member. It’s important not to show bias by talking more often with one team member.
Some staff find change tough. Is your management style and approach to change and giving feedback contributing to this?
Giving feedback is not difficult and should not be confrontational. Your main goal should be to support each individual team member.
If you or another staff supervisor need help scripting meetings and feedback conversations, contact us at email@example.com