Leadership Enablement Is the Key to Successful Initiatives
Leadership engagement can play a significant role in company culture, employee satisfaction, and it ensures the success of any initiative involving workplace change.
Leadership enablement equips leaders with the skills, knowledge, and resources to lead their teams through a change effectively. It includes activities to prepare them to communicate the vision, motivate their team members, and ensure everyone works toward the same goals. Leadership enablement also helps them anticipate resistance and prepare the tactics they need to manage and overcome it.
If you are leading a corporate initiative involving organizational change, make sure the leaders, particularly leaders of individual contributors, are prepared to do the following:
- Understand what the change means for them.
- Understand the impacts of change on their teams.
- Communicate the need for change and goals for the initiative. They also need to share the benefits of the effort credibly, the impacts on their team, and changes in ways of working.
- Motivate their teams to support the initiative and help meet its objectives.
- Anticipate reactions and possible resistance to the initiative, and be prepared to manage it.
Behaviors of enabled leader
We know a leader is equipped with the resources (knowledge, skills, tools, etc.) and support to guide their team through a change when we see some or all of the behaviors below:
- The leader understands the impacts on her job role and has provided feedback to leadership about what she thinks of the change, what she needs to embrace it, what she can do to support it, and what her team needs to do.
- The leader is comfortable with the communication she needs to share with her team, including the initiative's goals, regular updates, and feedback for leadership.
- The leader's team is aware and interested in the initiative and knows what support and resources they will receive before go-live to prepare for the change (additional details, guides describing how their ways of working shift, training, etc).
- The leader leverages the trust she has established with her team to listen empathetically to her team members' concerns.
- The leader has thought about the positive and negative reactions she can expect and is prepared to listen, empathize, clarify information, address the concern, and work on a solution. The leader also knows when to ask for help from the project team or HR business partners.
Psychological safety matters: Team members should feel comfortable asking questions, suggesting ideas, raising concerns, or admitting mistakes. This helps teams collaborate better, resulting in higher trust, better communication, and improved decision-making.
Is Your Leadership Engaged?
Ask these questions to determine how engaged your leaders are.
- First, consider how aligned your leaders are with the company's vision and goals. Do they have a clear sense of where they fit into the company? Are they completing their work well and on time?
- Next, ask how your leaders interact with their project teams and direct reports. Do they genuinely care about how their employees are doing as people? Do they actively listen when their employees bring concerns or challenges to them?
- Finally, think about how your leaders respond to organizational change. Do they lean into change, remaining positive and leading with a solutions-oriented mindset? Or do they avoid change, only dealing with it when they have to?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you may already have engaged leadership.
Leadership enablement is critical to any change initiative because it ensures leaders possess the skills, resources, and information to lead their teams. This ultimately leads to the program's success by providing a smooth transition, effective communication, team member motivation, and team alignment.
- Leadership engagement is crucial for company culture, employee satisfaction, and workplace change initiatives.
- Leadership enablement equips leaders with skills, knowledge, and resources to lead their teams through change, including anticipating and managing resistance.
- Enabled leaders understand the change's impact, communicate effectively, motivate their teams, and prepare for resistance to change.
- Psychological safety is essential to encourage team members to ask questions, suggest ideas, raise concerns, or admit mistakes, which fosters better collaboration and communication.
- Leaders' engagement can be assessed based on their alignment with the company's vision, interaction with their team members, and response to change.
- Leadership enablement ensures program success by facilitating a smooth transition, effective communication, team member motivation, and team alignment.
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