Change is the six-letter word that makes most of us cringe.

Ask anyone how they feel about change, and most people will tell you it’s not their favourite thing to experience in life. That’s because change can be incredibly difficult and more than a little stressful—especially when change occurs in the workplace.

Below are four strategies you can implement before, during and after the next change episode in your workplace to ensure your team stays positive, optimistic, and both mentally and emotionally resilient.

 

Inclusion

It’s amazing how many companies and organisations roll out new changes without ever informing their employees beforehand.

This can lead to confusion, anger, and distrust among employees. People don’t like unexpected losses, and they certainly don’t like to feel as if they’ve lost control.

Wherever it’s possible, it’s absolutely vital for leaders to let their employees ‘in’ on the change that’s soon to take place.

An easy way to accomplish this is to invite them into planning meetings so that they feel they have ownership of the change from the start.

 

Security

Sometimes, change can be an extensive process. It can last for weeks, months, or even years.

This is a very fragile time for employees because they’re still learning ‘the ropes’ of the change, as well as what to expect at each and every turn. This can often lead to anxiety in some team members, who may feel as if they’re experiencing a loss of certainty and security.

To combat this, it’s important to provide them with a new sense of safety.

How?

Set easy-to-understand timetables that serve as roadmaps for the change and go over new processes in-depth, answering any and all questions employees may have. This will reinstate their feeling of security and allow them to trust the change on a higher level.

 

Community

As social creatures, we depend on others for support constantly. We want to feel as if we belong.

In too many cases, employee morale has reached an all-time low during change because people no longer feel connected to each other.

As a leader, you can ensure this doesn’t happen by regularly investing in team building activities for your staff.

When you build a solid foundation through such activities, you ensure that your employees can thrive and build healthy workplace relationships with one another—a great tool to lean on during change.

 

Development

In the wake of a change, some employees may feel left behind because of new tasks that are mismatched with their current skillset.

When people don’t feel they have the skills to perform a job well, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and frustration, which eventually results in low morale and poor performance.

Fortunately, this is easily remedied.

Keep your employees sharp and on top of their game by continuously providing training, education, mentorship and support during and after times of transition.

When you invest in your employees’ skillset and talents, you not only make your team stronger but you also equip an individual with the confidence to perform a job well and the dedication to contribute their best work to the team moving forward.

 

When you employ the four strategies above, you’ll create a work environment that feels not just positive but cohesive as well.

The more people feel as if they’ve been heard, guided, supported, and developed, the more they’ll feel capable of facing the changes that your company faces, making for a stronger, more adaptive, and happier team.



There are many warning signs to look out for when it comes to an ineffective team, and they should never be ignored. After all, the efficiency of your team determines the volume of your work output, the quality of that work, whether or not deadlines are achieved, and whether or not project goals are accomplished and key performance metrics met.

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Do you regularly encourage your employees? Boosting team morale can be a tall order. And yet, it’s a regular practice that leaders and managers must, by all means, master in the workplace. After all, employees are the building blocks of your business. The stronger the team you’ve assembled, the more robust that business will be.

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Mounting evidence suggests that the workplace environment has a direct effect on the performance of your employees. Many different factors can affect your team’s morale, so it’s important to know how to manage the aspects that are within your control.

One of the most common issues a company can run into is managing different personalities in the workplace. Regular Leaders in Heels Contributor, Ros Cardinal, shares 8 tips to managing workplace personalities, including ones that clash!

Consider How a Positive Environment Affects Your Employees

Both the environment and social relationships in the workplace have a huge impact on employee performance. A happy, positive work environment encourages your workers to be patient and collaborative. Clashing personalities, however, can cause an array of problems that range from failing to meet daily goals, to improper behaviour by one or more team members.

So, how can you manage different personalities in your team?

Always remember that each person is unique, so they may have different perceptions than you do. However, the main goal is to remain impartial and learn how to effectively manage different personalities in the workplace.

 

Remind Everyone You’re a Team!

A lot of your employees see their peers as potential competition. Eradicate this mentality by reminding everyone you’re a team. You can even design a group commission system that urges your employees to collaborate regularly.

 

Encourage Open Communication

Not only should you tell your team to communicate, but you should also give them the tools they need to do so. Deploying a chat platform and an internal knowledge base can help them open better communication lines and build a collection of resources at the same time.

 

Hold Weekly Group Meetings and Private Sessions

You should carry out group meetings and individual sessions with each team member in order to get to know your workforce as a whole. The group meetings will give you ideas on the tools they need. Individual sessions, on the other hand, will help you understand the isolated challenges you can help your employees tackle.

 

Establish Ground Rules

The first step is to establish ground rules about acceptable behaviour. Chances are you already have guidelines in place, so just give your team a refresher course. Make sure you focus on the way team members interact with each other and provide tips on how to report inappropriate occurrences.

 

Cut Down Gossiping Whenever You Can

Gossiping is an inevitable part of any office environment. Instead of feeding or ignoring it altogether, take every opportunity to cut down any claims. Remind coworkers that it’s unprofessional in a non-threatening way and encourage them to focus on productivity rather than rumours.

 

Treat Everyone Equally

As a supervisor or manager, it’s hard not to create different perceptions of your employees. But, treating two people differently can quickly add fuel to the fire. Make sure you treat all your employees equally and avoid playing favourites to maintain a calm atmosphere.

 

Don’t Play the Blame Game

If you are forced to intervene directly, always remember to stay neutral and avoid playing the blame game. This will help you stay objective and prevent your employees from feeling alienated.

 

Define Responsibilities Early On

Defining responsibilities early on can help prevent clashes while allowing your employees to focus on what they are good at. Just remember that some responsibilities are shared, so you should find a way to monitor that each employee is collaborating accordingly.

Managing your human capital may be tricky, but it’s one of the best ways to improve your team’s performance across the board. The tips above will allow you to manage clashing personalities in the workplace and create a positive work environment for your team members.

About the author, Ros Cardinal

Rosalind Cardinal is the Principal Consultant of Shaping Change, a Hobart based consultancy, specialising in improving business outcomes by developing individuals, teams and organisations. Hobart, Tasmania.

In the corporate space, meetings are part of the routine. They serve many purposes. For one, they encourage teamwork by providing a space where employees can brainstorm together, set team goals, and engage in healthy dialogue. Meetings additionally provide an opportunity to share information such as financial updates, contract negotiations, workplace issues, new projects, and more.

Of course, meetings can sometimes veer onto thin ice when an entire team is gathered around the table. Nevermind the fact that the room is filled with any number of personality types and perspectives, but if there’s a heated topic on the table (reviewing a failed project, for instance), then tensions are bound to be high. One of the hardest blows to team morale is a high-stakes meeting that implodes because of poor communication and meeting management.

Here are 4 tips to bear in mind to communicate more effectively in your next meeting:

Mind your tone

Does the message you’re delivering sound negative or positive? What feeling is your tone reflecting? The energy in your voice can provide many clues into what you’re actually thinking. If you’re delivering praise to an employee for a recent success but your tone lacks energy and comes across more so bored or uninterested, it would be the same as not praising the employee at all—or worse, even criticizing them!

The same holds true when critiquing a team’s performance. There’s no need to be belligerent or disparaging, as this will only put your employees on the defense and increase the tension in the room—fertile ground for argumentation and division. Mind your tone and learn how to positively provide constructive criticism. Doing so will keep team morale where it needs to be and will motivate your employees to do better.

Choose your words wisely

This goes along hand-in-hand with the above. Something as simple as the words you use can build up a team…or tear one down! By all means, avoid language that makes assumptions or discriminates. Matt Stratz, CEO of the HR software Namely, also says this: “Don’t make statements that personally call out the employee like, ‘you should’, ‘you didn’t’, or ‘your skills’.

Instead, discuss the issue by saying, ‘customers can’t get what they need’, or ‘this isn’t clear’.” No one wants to be singled out in a meeting and made to feel like their experience, education, and/or skillset isn’t where it needs to be. It can be demoralizing. When you choose the right words, however, and shift the focus on a project’s objective, it takes the weight off your team members and helps them to remember the bigger picture.

Watch your body language

We don’t just speak with our words—we speak with our bodies as well. In fact, our body language very often betrays what we’re truly thinking or the state of our attitude. Eye-rolling, crossed arms, pursed lips—these are all expressions all of us have undoubtedly seen in a meeting or two. Pay attention to the way your own body is speaking during meetings. If you present a closed-off body, for example, you may intimidate your employees and cause them to shy away from offering input or ideas. Forcing a smile can indicate insincerity, potentially causing a team member to feel their contribution to a meeting fell short. And of course looking at the clock, your watch, or your phone is a sure sign of boredom or impatience, which is a sure way to guarantee an employee never speaks up in a meeting again—you’ve made them feel under-valued.

On the other hand, positive body language such as a relaxed posture, leaning in when someone is speaking, good eye contact, taking notes, and head nodding and smiling will allow your employees to feel at east, validated, and understood.

Be attentive

This last tip might sound obvious enough, but you’d be surprised how often teams fail to practice it. One of the easiest ways to achieve attentiveness is simply by providing an agenda at the beginning of every meeting. An agenda is essential to planning a productive meeting. It provides a list of topics for discussion, it provides structure and focus for the meeting, it ensures that all information is covered, and perhaps most importantly: it allows each team member to adequately prepare for the meeting and thus increases engagement, teamwork, and information sharing.

Nothing’s hidden when you work with an agenda, so employees don’t feel ambushed by topics (thus lowering tension and stress and allowing them to communicate more calmly). Another important tool is active listening. Active listening can help teams avoid misunderstandings, and more easily resolve conflicts. There are a number of trainings on active listening available that can help you and your employees excel as communicators.

 

Meetings unfortunately get a bad reputation more often than not, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you manage your meetings effectively and learn how effective communication can aid you and your employees in sharing ideas and building the team up, your meetings will become productive forums where goals are not only set—but achieved like never before!