It happens at every level of management, in every business in every marketplace. Change in leadership. Whether a manager or executive is promoted, leaves for another company or is fired, when a leader is changed out, the workforce turns over also. That is the reason that some companies leave an ineffective manager in place instead of letting them go, because of the turnover of workers when a new leader starts.
In an article for tlnt.com, Tim Sackett points out the ways that new leaders categorize the new employees in their charge. Basically, employees get lumped into five new categories:
1) Converts-employees who embrace the new leader.
2) Zombies-employees who are always the victim.
3) Militia-employees who will fight the change and support the old leader.
4) Double Agent-the employee who wants the leader to fail, but shows them support.
5) The Insider-employee with connections to higher-ups in organization
It is imperative that a new leader know who goes into each group, and deal with them accordingly. Mr. Sackett believes that the key to a smooth and productive change in leadership is communication (isn’t that always the case?). Establishing an effective line of communication to new leader’s charges to outline direction and an action plan moving forward is the most important task and typically the hardest thing to do.
In order for a new leader to understand the employees they are supervising, three things should be done in quick order for the transition to move smoothly. The first thing a new leader should do is communicate their new direction for the group immediately. Within the first week or two, their employees should have an understanding what is going to happen. The new leader should also have a planned group meeting for employees to relate fears, goals, history and how they will effectively communicate with the leader (and how the leader will communicate with them). Next, individual meetings with each employee to make sure the leader knows where to classify them and how to win them over to realize the goals of the group. You can read more from Mr. Sackett here.
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