The Importance of Guiding Employees Through Change

Change happens all the time, both personally and at work. When change is imposed on us it can lead to confusion, frustration and a decrease in productivity. Leaders who recognize the impact that change can have on employees can limit the fallout by helping employees with the change or transition.

Mishandling change — whether it’s a new boss, a change in office procedures, or a turn in the company’s finances — can prompt employees to leave or it may hurt their productivity. Change can also be more than a one-time event.

William Bridges in his book Transitions talked about three stages people go through when experiencing change.

The first step is to recognize that change or a transition starts with an ending. If a business goes through a merger, employees may need time to mourn the loss of how things were.

After letting go of how things were people enter what he calls the neutral zone. It is an in-between time when the old is gone but the new is not fully operational.

The last stage of his model is that of new beginnings. Beginnings are marked by a release of energy in a new direction – they are an expression of a fresh identity. Well-managed transition allows people to establish in new roles with an understanding of their purpose, the part they play, and how to contribute and participate most effectively. They are reoriented and renewed.

Try a Time Log!

There are a lot of time management tips out there. Just Google “Time Management” and you’ll get about 10,720,000,000 results. That’s a lot of material to have to wade through. One great way is to log your time.

You won’t know where you are being inefficient with your day if you don’t know where your time goes. Try this – for a week – write down everything you do in 15 minute increments, this includes evenings and weekends. This will give you insights as to where you spent too much time talking to a colleague, on social media or actually working!

One person who tried this said “Since I began logging my time earlier this year, I’ve also been tweaking how I spend it, trying to maximize my most productive time while continuing to knock out necessary administrative tasks during my less-productive hours.”

Develop Leaders for Your Success

“The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.”
-John Maxwell.  

What does your organization to develop your employees? How good are you at giving and receiving behavioural feedback? Delegation? Time management. Communication skills? Developing employees at all levels is critical to business success.

Why Emotional Intelligence is Important At Work

Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is a term created by two researchers – Peter Salavoy and John Mayer – and popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1996 book of the same name. EI can be defined as the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.” So why is emotional intelligence so important? It is critical for our ability to develop relationships with others and drive business results. The better we understand ourselves – our strengths and weaknesses the better we can understand the strengths and weaknesses of others and help build productive relationships at work.  A high EQ helps individuals to communicate better, reduce their anxiety and stress, defuse conflicts, improve relationships, empathize with others, and effectively overcome life’s challenges.

Getting Feedback From Employees – A Great Opportunity to Learn

Great leaders and managers give employees on feedback on a regular basis Employees want to know specifically when they have done a good job so that that performance continues. In the same way it is important not to let performance issues linger so that they become a problem.

What about getting feedback from your team as a leader? How comfortable are you with that? Your team will see your strengths and areas for development. How do you get feedback from them? Make it comfortable, set a tone where employees feel that two way communication will be welcome. If you want to make it really easy, a 360 degree tool can gather feedback not only from your team but also your peers and manager. Review the information you get from your team and get back to them with a plan on what you intend to do differently. Lastly thank them for their input. You may learn some important lessons and it will help create an environment of greater trust and openness.

Is Innovation The Key to Leadership?

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower – Steve Jobs”. In our ever changing world innovation is key to stay on top of the competition; however there are other key qualities of a leader. Some of them include:

  • A strong sense of ethics
  • Superior communication skills
  • Ability to build relationships with people at all levels in an organization and with customer
  • Commitment
  • Decision making abilities
  • Great delegation skills…

What else? Join my conversation

Praise can be Powerful

When you receive praise genuine praise – how do you feel? I know I feel appreciated and want to continue to do the great work that I’ve been doing and I’m sure you do too.

Well thought out and delivered praise recognizes your work and accomplishments. It reinforces your actions builds self-esteem and motivation.

It makes you feel better about you.

Giving such praise can also make you feel better about you.

So be specific – “When you stayed late to work on the last minute changes to the pitch to our client, I was able to work on the financials so we got the client what they needed on time.” That praise is specific and lets the employee know what you appreciated. Chances are when you need them to help you out again, they’ll be there!

Generic praise is nice, but specific praise is wonderful. Don’t just tell an employee she did a good job. Tell her how she did a good job.

Not only will she appreciate the gesture, she’ll also know you pay attention to what she does.

Being Grateful at Work – Taking “Thank You” to the Next Level.

Saying thank you at work is terrific, but it has become something we are expected to say. It is often said without much thought and that means that it may not make much of an impact on the person we say it to.

Of course a polite “thank you” is always appreciated – but is there a way to take it to another level? Showing gratitude to a colleague is one such way to do so.

An article noted Francisco Gino and Adam Grant’s experiment where one group of volunteer fundraisers received no expression of gratitude; the other group of volunteers was told, “I’m very grateful for your hard work.”

The immediate result was the “grateful” volunteers made 50 percent more calls to potential fundraisers. 

Clearly, that’s an important result where motivation and output is concerned (in short, if your only goal is to improve productivity, “I’m grateful” is an effective tool), but just as important, the researchers found that saying “I’m grateful” can help people:

  • savor positive experiences,
  • cope with stressful circumstances, and
  • strengthen relationships.

This makes “I’m grateful” two really powerful words.

Coaching Challenging Employees

Coaching employees is one of the really important jobs that managers have. Coaching can help employees grow and develop and to correct behaviour that isn’t that productive. If the employee’s behaviour is really inappropriate, i.e. they are tactless, arrogant or lacking empathy, the challenge for the manager is that much greater. Before you coach make sure you are looking at that employee fairly. Is their behaviour really what you think it is? Before sitting down to talk to them, prepare what you want to say. Make sure you prepare behavioural examples of where they are not meeting your expectations. Saying “you are arrogant” is not as effective as saying “when we were in a meeting last week you raised your voice at Janet and rolled your eyes at her opinions which upset her.” There is no magic bullet for fixing an employee’s difficult behaviour but solid coaching and behavioural feedback are a great start.


“If you don’t like it. Change something . If you can’t change it change your attitude.” Maya Angelou. How true this is. Too often we want to change things that are outside our control.  All we can do is change our attitude to how something shows up in our lives. What can you see differently today? Is it a problem that can be seen as a challenge that you know you can overcome? Is it a difficult conversation you’ve been meaning to have with someone. Can you plan it out so it will be more effective?  A great plan will get you there.