29 Apr 5 tips to manage the crisis effectively
A change is a process, not an event; no matter how sudden it happens. Our Continuous Change Management model considers the different stages that people go through in their evolution when going through a transformation. Faced with an unexpected and tempestuous change such as COVID-19, these phases accelerate and the crisis management becomes transcendental. Below, some tips to tackle each phase of the process.
The 4Cs of Change Management
Change -and hence the crisis, which is nothing more than a drastic and sudden change- forces people to face new challenges. Each person goes through four stages during a change. We call these stages the 4Cs.
- Comprehension: The person understands the need for change.
- Commitment: The person wants to be part of the change (he/she is motivated).
- Competences: The person has the predisposition and mindset necessary to learn new concepts and ways of working (and also unlearn the old ones).
- Continuity: The person puts into practice and experiences new forms of work. The habits and therefore the sustainability of these new practices are created.
The importance of organizational leadership
The evolution of a person throughout the entire process must be sustained and facilitated by what we call Organizational Leadership. It refers to the coherence and consistency of the organization with the change that it is trying to implement. Every contradiction manifested by inconsistent actions regarding the change generates confusion, double messages, and potential setbacks.
The times and maturity of the change management plan development must consider the phase and the situation in which the different groups and people are during the change process.
Tips stage by stage
Facing this unprecedented and forced situation caused by the pandemic, there is no time to address this evolution in an ordered sequential way. However, understanding all the phases and designing agile change management cycles (or sprints) having them in mind is necessary if you want to create new habits and build sustainable change.
Below, I will share five tips that will help you design a Crisis Management plan. The hashtags below each tip refer to the stage or stages that are addressed.
1. Communicate with transparency and anticipation
Long periods of silence or the perception that partial or false information is being received will increase uncertainty and the stress level of your employees. Anticipate the need for information and be honest about the unknown. Communication must be fluid, anticipated, and transparent.
#Comprehension #Commitment #OrganizationalLeadership
2. Build a support network
Every Change Management plan needs a support network integrated by mentors, peers and referents who help on both technical and emotional aspects of the change, and build instances of collaboration and shared learning. When defining who your change agents will be and what actions they will take, analyze with realdata what the real needs are for the different teams and employees. Trying to address everyone with the same action plan generates inefficiency and a waste of resources.
#Commitment #Competences #Continuity #OrganizationalLeadership
3. Use recognition to reinforce positive behaviors
Don’t wait too long to recognize achievements or results. Celebrate the effort, the adaptability, the new ideas, the courage to try something new on a daily basis. Develop a recognition strategy that is meaningful for each person and group (or you will cause the opposite effect). This will help you to sustain your employees´ efforts day by day during this crisis.
#Commitment #Continuity #Organizational Leadership
4. Promote agility
If your organization is not an agile organization, the challenge will be even greater. Don’t be discouraged! Turn this forced remote work situation into an opportunity to achieve the transformation that has been delayed for a long time. Encourage autonomous teams, reduce bureaucracy, decentralize decision-making processes, and provide greater flexibility . Being agile implies a true change of mindset, necessary to develop adaptability to change.
#Competences #Continuity #OrganizationalLeadership
5. Don’t forget about the emotional needs
Technical needs are usually the first to be met. It is true that learning to use new virtual tools is a visible and immediate necessity, but the emotions that your employees go through are equally (or maybe, even more) important. The emotional dimension plays a critical role in a crisis and can be the main obstacle for people to adapt to new ways of working, learn to use new platforms and maintain efficiency and productivity.
In synthesis, opportunity and risk
In a context that calls for urgency, change management tools and tactics can help you manage the crisis more effectively.
Managing the crisis efficiently today will not only help you get through the actual moment better (and help your employees do so) but will also have a positive impact on culture and motivation when the recovery period begins. Don’t forget that people are the most valuable asset that an organization has; taking care of your employees is essential to guarantee business continuity.
Author: Carolina Sordelli
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