How to be a successful leader during times of change

January 14, 2022

In a world of constant change, strong leadership is essential for organizational success. Shifts in the corporate sphere are inevitable and keeping pace with these transitions can be a challenge, but with effective leadership and the right structures put in place, it's much easier.

With evolving markets and external forces constantly impacting the daily proceedings of any organization, there are several practices leaders can implement to help their workforce successfully navigate an ever-changing industry. 

Establish a vision and communicate effectively
Rather than resisting the idea of change, successful leaders embrace this inevitably and envision how the company can benefit from transformation. However, it's equally important that employers and managers communicate this end goal with their employees to ensure they understand your intentions, as well as inspire them to achieve the end result. Continued communication throughout the process will be fundamental to successful progression while reducing anxiety and stress in employees who know exactly what is expected of them.

Constantly encourage and support employees
Because change is a catalyst for stress in the workplace, it's principal that leaders offer constant motivation and support to their workers. Focusing solely on the end result is an overwhelming and ineffective approach, so it's vital that employees receive the assistance and tools they need to get them there. It may also be valuable to consistently address ideas, frustrations, concerns and suggestions to optimize the impact of change throughout the process.

Be a role model for expected behaviors
Approaching change with confidence and a positive attitude is only effective when the entire workforce intends to act accordingly. However, this is only possible when leadership is a model of this behavior for employees.

Recognize success
A necessary element in supporting high morale, productivity and engagement throughout times of turbulence is regularly recognizing the successes of employees along the way. Leaders can acknowledge their workforce during team meetings, through email or in one-on-one meetings, but the celebration of even simple successes is especially valuable to the workforce. Statistics highlighted by Apollo Technical show this recognition is extremely important to 37% of employees, and continued appreciation and acknowledgement increases employee engagement, productivity and performance by 14%. The advantages of implementing structures and programs of appreciation will prove invaluable to the operational efficiency of a company in the midst of change.

Embrace a learning mindset and culture
Not only is offering opportunities for learning and development essential to attract and retain talent, but it's also a key element in fostering a resilient and agile workforce. This represents the ability to adapt quickly and efficiently to changes, and its impact shouldn't be underestimated. In fact, a report from CFO Innovation found more than 25% of executives believe their company is at a competitive disadvantage because it's not agile enough to anticipate or maneuver fundamental shifts in the workplace.

Change in the workplace is inevitable and it's often a source of high anxiety and uncertainty. But, with strong leadership and improved structures, employees can more successfully handle and navigate these transitions while driving operational efficiency along the way.