6 steps to lead employees through change

change ahead signFew people like change, especially employees. It disrupts their sense of comfort and casts them into the unfamiliar. Often they resist and make the process of change all the harder.

But as a leader, you know the value and necessity of change, and it’s your job to lead your staff through it.

Here are six steps a leader must take to ease the pain of change, from Tim Stevens’ new book, Fairness is Overrated and 51 Other Leadership Principles to Revolutionize Your Workplace.

1. Make the case for the change. You have to clearly describe why it is so important to change. What will be lost by staying where you are? What will be gained by making the change?

2. Create urgency for the change. You never want to bend the facts or skew the stats, but you do want to clearly show that you can wait no longer for the change.

3. Make the decision for the change. There comes a point when the time for waiting for additional buy in is over, and the decision must be made.

4. Communicate the change. This is crucial. You can make a lousy decision but do well with communication and implementation, and it can be a success. On the other hand, you can make a great decision and lose the battle because your communication is weak.

5. Implement the change. Many leaders lose the battle here. They like casting vision for change and getting people excited, but they don’t like the daily grind of implementation. Find someone who can carry the ball all the way to the end zone with methodical consistency.

6. Consider changing the change. After going through all the work of change, it’s easy to convince yourself that the new way is sacred. It’s not. And perhaps a few years down the road, it will be time to consider another change.