Leaders of employees impacted by change play an essential role as coaches and advocates for change. Leaders are often closest to the employees, and therefore, the best line of defense in support for their team as a change nears implementation. They are problem solvers and supporters, teaching and mentoring on the job.

As it relates to ability, leaders must be able to:

    • Provide one-on-one coaching of employees who are implementing new processes, tools, and job roles, effectively providing hands-on demonstrations, role modeling, and desired ability. Leaders must be suitably trained and experienced in the change themselves and be on hand to answer any questions relating to the change as they arise.
    • Establish a safe, supportive environment where employees can develop their new skills and practice new behaviors. Influential leaders encourage and support employees while providing feedback and direction. Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process.
    • Create feedback channels to identify gaps in processes or tools. Establish a straightforward way for employees to provide feedback will ensure a leader can quickly learn of any problems related to the change and communicate them to the project and change management teams.

One-on-one coaching will help supervisors identify any gaps, whether they are related to the employee’s ability or to a process, tool, or system. Suppose leadership is not present during this critical phase. In that case, an employee who experiences difficulty may be more likely to abandon the learning process, revert to old behaviors, or create workarounds for performing the task.

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