How to Guide Your Employees Through Leadership Change

leadership change

With the average term of a CEO being six years, it becomes clear that leadership change is a given.  Even so, change in the workplace, and especially in leadership positions can cause anxiety and doubt among employees.  Mishandling leadership change can hurt productivity and employee retention.  A support plan is imperative to effectively introducing change. Ask the employees about their concerns and be a good listener.

Focus on the Constants

Constants like an organization’s philosophy and values are typically enduring. They’re the constants consumers and the general public expect. Think of slogans that have been tied to a company for decades. Your organization’s constants help you guide employees during leadership change as you:

  • Talk about the business’s values with employees.
  • Inquire how they see these linked with their work.
  • Ask if they have concerns about potential changes in organizational direction.
  • Use the information gained to prepare for change.

Prepare for Leadership Change

Life is all about change. You can lead staff with expecting change as a workplace constant. Consider these preparation tips and examples:

  • Change is a series of incremental steps. Focus more on the steps and less on the end.
  • Dialogue about the benefits of preparation.
  • Remind your staff that when a team is prepared for change it can nimbly adjust to surprises.
    • Think of sports teams and stage performers—the second string and stand-ins are ready and waiting.
    • Cross training your team’s skill sets sure helps when there’s a tight deadline.

Be the Calm Guide During Change

Regardless of the time you’ve had to prepare everyone, the leadership change is imminent. Guiding them through the coming weeks and months is your priority. Here’s how:

  • Maintain unity by having workplace requirements apply to everyone.
  • Give employees time and space to voice concerns.
  • Keep the lines of communication open
  • Boost employee engagement in new opportunities by:
    • Investing in them through training and expanded roles.
    • Expressing gratitude for their presence and performance.

Don’t attempt to rush your employees through leadership change. Instead, lead them through it. This will keep your employees from becoming stuck in a world of anxiety, and help them move forward with energy and productivity.


Check out these Teamwork Quotes that can you help your organization thru leadership changes.