Merge's Blog

Workplace change will shift priorities, so address it as a team

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a video blog about how leaders can successfully support and implement workplace change.  Three weeks ago, to be exact (Use peer pressure as a positive force in change management).  But this series has been so popular that I’m not done yet.  In addition to today, I’ll do at least one more tip before I finish up this series on effective strategies for leaders who are spearheading workplace change.  Today’s tip: Re-prioritize as a team.

Re-prioritize as a team

When workplace change occurs, by necessity, priorities will shift as well.  If you’re putting in new or different procedures or processes, then recognize that these require effort and time, and your staff members simply cannot do everything the group did before.  Involve your team in determining what can drop off the list, even if it is just temporarily.  Ask your team, as a group, to rank order all their current work deliverables and focus on those that they and you consider mission-critical.  Non-essential work can them be prioritized separately based on its relative importance and your available resources.

Do not fall into the trap of going it alone

It’s important that you do this re-prioritization as a group, because that’s how you’ll achieve buy-in to the outcomes.  You will recall that Strategy #1 was to involve your employees early on in the change process.  This is simply a continuation of that philosophy.  So do not, I repeat, do not, fall into the trap of doing this re-prioritization by yourself in your office with the door closed.  If you do this by yourself and then emerge from your office, and like Moses on the Mount, bestow the changed priorities on your team, guess what?  They won’t be on board.  They weren’t involved in the re-prioritization, so it’s not their plan.  And when things go wrong, it’s definitely not their plan.

When things go wrong, you’ll be on your own to fix things.  But if you involve them in the re-prioritization, then it is their plan, so when things go wrong, you’ll find that they’ll roll up their sleeves and figure out how to make things work.  It’s called buy-in, and it critical in any leadership role, but it’s EVEN more critical when you’re implementing workplace change initiatives.

As I said earlier in this post, I’ll be wrapping up this video series on strategies to lead workplace change shortly.  But before I do, what have I missed?  What have been your experiences with workplace change?  Please share.

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