Last updated 23 October 2020 ·
One of the top challenges we find amongst CEO’s is trying to change behaviour in a sustainable way as they introduce new systems or procedures within their business.
The challenge here is about changing long-term habits, encouraging flexibility and an openness to do things differently, otherwise, you will make the same mistakes time after time and never move forward.
“More than 45% of what we do every single day is a habit” Anne Grady, success.com.
Changing habits is difficult, so we wrote a blog focusing specifically on The 6-step process to creating disciplined habits and better results.
Here we have included 8 steps to help you manage the process of change and effectively introduce new habits to improve the way you do things and drive positive results for your business:
1. Embed change into your culture
Including an openness to change within the company cultural values will embed this ideology across the whole business, amongst existing employees and new hires. Here at Reclaro, one of our values is all about personal and professional growth, encouraging a commitment to training and development for the rest of our lives and embracing change.
2. Ensure a strong commitment from the leadership team
It’s important to develop a strong commitment to the change amongst the senior leadership team before it is rolled out company-wide. In doing this, you can identify any potential obstacles or resistance to change and put a plan in place to overcome these. The CEO would be the main driving force here, and the responsibility of cascading the change further will be down to the senior leadership team so it’s crucial to instil a high level of understanding.
3. Cascade the change throughout every level
Involving all employees at all levels will encourage engagement and minimise resistance. Spend time with Managers and supervisory staff to plan in detail how the change will positively affect their role and their subordinates.
4. Communication is key
Build a case to effectively explain not only what the change is but why the change is happening and how it will positively affect them. Engage their hearts as well as their minds and emphasise the importance of their part required to implement the change. What will the change mean for them? Add a short discussion around the change to regular meeting agendas to provide an opportunity for questions to be asked and any negativity to be overcome. Hold regular drop-in meetings or webinars at set times each week so people can attend if they have questions, or are facing any challenges with the new ways of working being implemented.
5. Engagement is everything
Don’t underestimate the power of engagement here. Change requires engagement to succeed. Highlighting employee strengths and where these can be put to effective use within the change itself will move focus away from resistance towards more positive actions.
6. Identify key influencers
Identify any informal leaders within the business and ensure they are a champion for change. For example, are there any key influencers such as a long-standing receptionist or a go-between for different departments? Who do people talk to? Find out who the company’s sounding-boards are and make sure these people are on-board with the change!
7. Give recognition to early adopters
Recognition is powerful. You could create an internal campaign to identify those who are quick to adapt to the change and show leadership qualities in their positive adoption.
8. Constant assessment
Regularly assess these new habits and how the change is being adopted throughout the business. What’s working, what’s not? How can these challenges be confronted and overcome?
We understand it’s challenging to comprehend all of this on top of your daily workload so delegate wherever possible but become a true champion for change. As a CEO when you are supporting your senior leaders to adapt to change and form new habits, encourage them to consider the overall objective you are trying to achieve through the change and motivate them through outcome thinking.
For more information on this topic, our Founder and CEO, Pete Wilkinson, has written a blog focusing on 7 questions to help you manage change to keep your people happy.