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Communication with your team during times of change

As a leader, you play an important role for your team during change. Changes at work, whether a reorg, new IT system or something else can cause resistance and unease in your team. If your team is concerned about what is going to happen, they will most likely turn to you for guidance and support.

Therefore, how you communicate with your team is crucial to help and guide them during change. Both because you are an authority in the team and because you are the one best suited to help and support them during times of transition. You have better access to information from top management and you will most likely be the one in contact with the project team.

It is not always easy to know what to do, or say, to best support your team in situations like this. However, the most important thing is that each team member knows they can count on your support. There are various ways where you can ensure this is clear for all.

Firstly, make sure to have 1:1 meetings with everyone in the team where they safely can raise concerns and ask any questions they might have. This will give you an understanding of what to be concerned about, where you should focus your support, and whom you can rely on to advocate the change. But most importantly, it will give the entire team a feeling of being heard, providing the reassurance that they will get the support they need.

Secondly, make sure you always have the most recent updates from the project team so that you can communicate truthfully and transparently with the team about what and when changes are happening. When the team knows they can rely on the information you present they will in return be more open with you and more likely to support the change as they will be better informed.

Thirdly, coach your team during the change, help them find their own solutions for what will work for them during the change. Asking them questions about how they see the change, how you can overcome some of the challenges it will bring to the team etc will help them take ownership of the change, which will automatically reduce their resistance.

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