Let’s Talk About Change

Every organization endures periods of change. Maybe it’s due to reorganization or perhaps you had to replace a departing superstar or cut your team because of budgetary constraints. The reason for the change doesn’t matter if a crucial element is missing: trust. Without trust, avenues of communication experience gridlock. Collaboration ends up stifled and stilted. Everyone feels on edge and misaligned. A team that lacks trust is a bad setup for innovation. It’s also risky because no company can adapt without the confidence of its people.

A December 2017 study by Ultimate Software: 93% of employees said trust in their direct support is crucial to staying satisfied at work, and a majority said they’d turn down a large pay increase to stay with a great boss. Here’s the disconnect: 80% of managers think they are transparent with their employees, while only 55% of employees agree. And, 71% of managers say they know how to motivate their teams, while just 44% of employees agree. Trust on both ends of this dynamic is lacking.Have you ever been on a team whose members don’t trust one another? It isn’t really a team at all, just a group of people working on similar efforts. Plus, most of its members spend too much time protecting their work, not to mention wasting energy battling over rights and responsibilities. Without the bonding that comes from colleague confidence, no team or department can be innovative, creative, or productive.

Ironically, many leaders and managers forget this fact when they agree to implement transformation endeavors. Instead of making sure their people have faith in one another’s abilities and motives, managers move full steam ahead with programs and strategies. Then, they watch in surprise as talented members leave, infighting begins and trust dissolves.

When companies share the game plan and their hopes on what they would like to accomplish by the change it can help employees feel their involvement matters and any questions they have can be answered. If it’s new management that is the change then maybe their faith in the new manager can flourish with a little more ease. When team members can clearly see their purpose in any effort, they naturally worry less about one-upping each other and concentrate on hitting overall goals. As they begin to see and celebrate real-time progress, they foster a culture of innovative thinking that’s not limited by change-related fear. Without the presence of suspicion, loyalty grows and objectives come to fruition.  

The bottom line is more of us can embrace change, and instead of focusing on what we have to give up or what we will lose,Wouldn’t it be more powerful to focus on what we will gain? Saint Teresa Calcutta once said “ I cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

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