Transforming managers into change leaders. A guide to helping your managers lead change in your organisation

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1 Transforming managers into change leaders A guide to helping your managers lead change in your organisation

2 Create change leaders Changes. Plural This guide is all about equipping your managers with the mindset, tools and skills they need to successfully lead change in your organisation. Because changes are an inevitable part of any thriving business: economies alter, priorities move on, and competitors shift the goalposts. No matter what type of industry you re in, you need managers who are comfortable to lead in a constantly changing landscape.

3 Business challenges Supporting your line managers What changes are on your horizon? A new study from KPMG revealed that the main challenges facing today s businesses include: 1. The balancing of a global operation while retaining a local insight. 2. Managing a flexible and virtual workforce. 3. Retaining the best people. 4. Employee engagement. Changing cultures Changing your organisation s overall culture can be an essential part of remaining competitive, but it s tough to deliver. Managers must act as both well-informed guides and inspiring role models. Why focus on managers? Your managers are the people who really know your employees. They know what motivates them, what they respond to and, essentially, what will work. If your change is to succeed, your managers must be part of the process right from the very beginning. Managers play a vital role in an ongoing up and down dialogue from the Board to the front line staff. According to research, employees are more likely to trust their direct line manager than senior leaders. But fewer than 50% of managers are able to effectively motivate and engage employees in times of change.

4 Managers to change ambassadors In five steps 1 Engaging managers with The Vision Begin with a clear vision of where you want to get to. Don t let this vision get diluted as it filters its way through the various levels of management. Take the time to involve managers and help them understand what the vision really means at a local business or department level. Talk about how they feel this can be turned into reality with their teams. Your vision will have more impact if its presented visually and creatively. Roadmaps, infograms and simple creative maps work well to simply explain the company direction and aid understanding. Provide your senior leaders with support in communication, listening and coaching. 2 Open and honest As soon as employees feel you re hiding something, you lose their trust. Give your senior managers the tools they need to share your plans and objectives in a consistent, honest and open way. This will give the managers the confidence to do the same thing as they cascade the information to their teams. Provide support and guides on how to have difficult conversations or handle challenging questions from staff. 3 The right communication tools for the job Providing your managers with a comprehensive kit of communication tools is essential for boosting their confidence and positioning them as experts. At the very least these packs should include project plans, help guides, communication activities for teams, best practice sharing case studies, FAQs and fact sheets. 4 Get in training Change, whether technical or cultural, often brings with it a sense of uncertainty, frustration and even resistance in employees. This is where training managers in the art of having constructive conversations can really make the difference. Use manager forums, focus groups and coaching to help them handle not only their own feelings but those of their teams. 5 Are we there yet? Celebrating success Change doesn t happen overnight so make sure you have plenty of ideas for celebrating individual achievements and overall milestones along the way. Publishing within the company news channels, walls of fame and office celebrations are all excellent ways to keep up the energy. What fun initiatives can help gather momentum, what challenges can you present to employees so that as many as possible can take up the challenge and get involved? Look outside for inspiration Try bringing in an external speaker. Hearing from somebody else who has been through a similar challenge and succeeded can really invigorate your managers sense of purpose. Creating Creativity Inspiring your managers to be creative with their communications helps energise both teams and managers alike. Make sure your toolkit has creative ideas that promote informal, open dialogue with plenty of participation. Storytelling, video animations, communication guides and team activities as well as creative and visual journey road maps that teams can work on together are all popular choices.

5 The essential change checklist Launching a change programme? Use this seven-point checklist 1 Can you articulate the following 5 three things? 2 1. The real business drivers behind the change 2. Your vision for the future 3. The managers role in helping their teams to deliver Do you know your facts? Organisational analysis tools such as employee surveys, forums, workgroups and focus groups are incredibly helpful in helping you make decisions based on the whole organisation, not just a few loud voices. Be clear with your evidence for change. 3 Do you know your managers current skill level? Carrying out a skills audit with a 360 degree feedback exercise will tell you where you need to focus your training, and which levels of management need more support. 4 Do your senior managers act as a unified team? Are your communications creative and engaging? As 90% of the information we receive is visual, a strong creative theme coupled with clear concise messaging is crucial. Make sure your communications includes a strong creative theme and implementation ideas such as road maps, strategy workbooks and storytelling exercises. Communications need to be clear, consistent, regular and always link back to strategy and why we re doing this in the first place. Ensure communications are creative enough to obtain cut through. 6 Do you have strong lines of communication? Your managers need help in delivering the change message and keeping it alive with employees. Encourage as much communication and feedback as possible via breakfast catch ups, open-door sessions, walking the floor, scribble boards, focus groups, broadcasts and pulse surveys. Remember to keep your language straightforward and remind people of the change drivers and vision. 7 Do you celebrate role models? Keep talking! Encourage employees to get involved with various interactive elements including social media, forums, games, quizzes and team talks. Mutual support Make sure your managers have plenty of opportunities to support each other; forums, focus groups and away days can all be powerful training tools. Bringing your senior managers together at the very beginning of your change programme is essential. It can inform the way you approach the rest of the organisation and highlight any potential areas of resistance. As well as providing a platform for team building, this meeting is a useful place to start communications training. Celebrating employees who have embraced the change is just as important as focusing on those who haven t. And, just like every other part of your change programme, your managers will play a key part in that process.

6 Thanks for reading Gemma McGrattan +44 (0) (0) (0) Richard Lowe +44 (0)

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