Thought articles

7 steps to changing your team

The chances are that your company is currently going through some change that will require your teams to interact differently with customers or colleagues.

For example, an insurance company or mortgage lender that moves into more complex and higher risk markets may need their underwriters to ask more searching questions or to negotiate more effectively. A company experiencing increased price competition may want to focus much more on customer service as a differentiator.

As a leader, how can you ensure that your teams adopt the new skills and behaviours that are required?

We’ve helped many organisations successfully transform the way in which their teams behave, and from our experience there are seven important steps that leaders should take:

  1. Be clear on exactly what you’re trying to achieve as a business. People are more likely to change if they see a clear business case, with clear and measurable outcomes
  2. Identify the specific behaviours that are required in order to deliver those outcomes
  3. Explain exactly what happens next and why. Change is less threatening if everyone understands the plan, what they need to do and the benefits to them and to the business
  4. Take some time to analyse how your teams currently behave. Identify the biggest gaps in performance and the areas you need to focus on in order to achieve the biggest impact
  5. Understand what drives current behaviours and what might help or get in the way of change. For example, is your management culture or performance scorecard encouraging the ‘right’ behaviours?
  6. Give people an opportunity to practice new behaviours. In particular, any training needs to be interactive as most people learn best by doing
  7. Embed. New behaviours need to be reinforced. Ask teams to report back on what they’ve done, what’s worked and what’s been difficult. Ensure that managers actively lead, coach and reinforce new behaviours through team meetings and 1:1s. Give the initiative a high profile. Celebrate successes

We’ve developed our approach over many years and achieved some stunning results.