Skip to content
December 13, 2021

5 Tips for Leaders to Help Their Teams Adapt to Change


Change is hard for organizations, for employees asked to change, and for leaders responsible for guiding employees through the change. Each person must process their own feelings and work through the stages of change in their own way. However, leaders have an important role in the process.

As a leader, you not only must provide guidance and information to employees; it’s equally important that you listen to people’s concerns, show support, and serve as an anchor for them throughout the process.

Serving as the Change Navigator

Following are tips to remember as you help members of your team successfully navigate change:

  1. Your attitude sets the tone. How you lead and how you communicate sets the tone for the entire team’s view of this transition. Remember that your attitude (positive or not) can be contagious.
  2. Think about where your staff are coming from and listen to their concerns. It’s okay to ask them how they’re feeling – in fact that’s a good thing. Recognize that they may be feeling anxiety, fear, and/or frustration and that’s to be expected. Then, give them line of sight to the goal and the possibilities that will result from the change.
One of the most recognized business models on organizational change is based on the stages of grief – because the emotions experienced are often the same between professional loss and personal loss. For change to be successful, leaders must not only manage the day-to-day workload but also help employees navigate these phases of change and work together toward the “future state.”

  1. Communicate and listen in ways that work best for your team (not your own preferences). Look for opportunities to check in, ask how staff are doing and listen for concerns or questions. Be sure to treat them not as you would like to be treated, but as they want to be treated—communicating in ways most meaningful to them.
  2. Be responsive to staff questions or feedback. In times of uncertainty, team members will come to you with questions and look to you as a source of information. Listening to their concerns and responding to their questions is an important way to show you care and reinforce they are valued even in a time of uncertainty. Respond to questions within 24 hours, if only to say, “I’ll find out and get back to you.” It’s OK to not have a complete answer to employee questions but do your best to tell them what you know, what you don’t know, and what you’re working on finding out.
  3. Celebrate behaviors that you want to see more of to boost morale and re-affirm expectations. Acknowledge both big and small accomplishments along the way to help people feel good about their progress and show you appreciate their efforts. Incorporate recognition into every meeting or gathering and ensure managers and supervisors are on the lookout for things to celebrate. Invite employees to acknowledge each others’ accomplishments in a peer recognition program.

Which of these ideas can you apply in your organization today that will have the most positive impact?

—David Grossman

In the spirit of giving, we want to pay it forward by giving away copies of Heart First. We’ll provide you, members of your team, and/or a leader you think will benefit with a copy (it’s on us!). Click below to select your option and submit your book order today!

Click to request a free copy of Heart First for you, your team, or a leader you know - The Grossman Group

Comments on this post

Other posts you might be interested in

View All Posts