How to Keep Your Team Motivated During Business Transformation

Business Transformation can be exciting, but also demanding and tiring for all involved. How do you keep your team’s collective head held high? Inspiring leadership, two-way communication and a positive outlook are key.
A clear vision

The first step in any effective business transformation programme is a clear, well-defined target. Once this is established, it should be presented to the workforce.

An inspiring message will get staff onboard from the start. If the programme involves changes that won’t be viewed well (perhaps new owners or redundancies), it is important to explain the reasons behind it and the intended results. The team is much more likely to support the transformation if they understand the bigger picture.

Ongoing communication

Regular internal meetings are vital for maintaining momentum during a transformation. Staff with key roles in the programme should report progress and challenges as often as practically possible. This allows senior management to address concerns quickly, and give further direction where needed.

Good communication is also essential with the wider team. If new systems and processes are put in place they affect everyone, not just middle and senior leaders. Staff should be given opportunity to comment on how changes have affected their day-to-day work, and ask questions. What works in theory does not always work in reality, so staff feedback helps form best practice. When new processes work well, workers are likely to stay motivated.

Active engagement

Two-way communication is crucial, but it can be taken even further by allowing all staff to play an active part in the transformation. Every person in a team has a different skillset and viewpoint, so their thoughts and ideas are valuable.

Involving staff in the transformation can start before the programme itself is launched. Gathering feedback from team members on what works well and what needs improvement in their area can inform the overall strategy. When it comes time to begin the programme, assign team members to specific tasks – this boosts their own engagement in the process and takes pressure off senior leaders. The more ambassadors for the programme there are throughout the business, the better.

Celebrate success

Success, however small, should be acknowledged throughout the transformation journey. Perhaps a new process has had a positive response from a client, or a task has been done more efficiently. Celebrating these achievements reminds staff of the programme’s value, and encourages them to continue their efforts.

An optimistic atmosphere is good for staff morale in general. While honesty is important, focusing on failures doesn’t make for a happy team. Highlighting wins is much more constructive.

In summary

Keeping a team motivated during transformation can be tricky, especially if it is born out of less than desirable circumstances. However, through clear lines of communication, an all-hands-on-deck approach and a positive outlook, it is achievable.

It is important to not lose sight of staff morale during a transformation programme, no matter how urgent it is. Ultimately, they will be the ones who enable its success.