How to Guide Your Team Through Growing Pains

One of the hardest aspects of being a leader is managing a team through times of cultural or organisational change in the workplace.

Whether it’s changing values, changing procedures or something more significant like a company restructure, it can often be difficult to get your team fully on board.

Inevitably, there are always going to be occasions when an individual or certain individuals struggle with change, however the key to success as a leader is learning how to manage these growing pains. 

Here we share a useful framework we recommend to managers who are leading a team through a period of change. 

Essentially, when it comes to handling change, there are three groups most employees will fall into:

Group One

We call this group the ’embracers’. These employees will embrace the new values and the new vision. They lean into the change with very little coaching. 

Group Two

We call this group the ‘fence-sitters’. They get the need for the new culture too, but they’re not quite on board. This group of employees will need some coaching to accept the change in culture and leadership. 

Group Three 

We call this group the ‘laggards’. Unfortunately the members of this group might never fully embrace the new vision, the new values, and therefore never fully get on board with the new organisational culture. 

So how do we manage these three different groups of people to bring everyone on the team up to speed with the new organisational culture?

Essentially, when it comes to handling change, there are three options that a person can choose to take:

Option 1: Maintain the status quo

This means that the individual is not getting on board with the change. They want to keep doing things the way it has been done in the past.

Option 2: Get on board

The preferred option is that they get on board with the change – they embrace it and lean into it. Individuals who choose option 2 see change as an opportunity for growth, as opposed to something negative.

Option 3: The individual has to leave

While this might seem extreme, the third option is that the individual moves on from the business entirely if they are not willing to accept the change – this is the option the ‘laggards’ are likely to take. 

In order to help your team embrace change, you need to align your focus and communication so that they attach more pain to the idea of not changing, as opposed to the change itself.

We dive into this concept in greater detail in the video below; give it a watch and let me know in the comments how you could apply this to your own team.


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