Get This "Buy-In builder" Step Right or Your Championship Work Environment Journey Will Fail
before it starts
Most every client I've worked with has tried something prior to me to improve employee attitudes, motivation, implement a change initiative, or related workplace program.
Most every one of those has started with a wave of excitement, enthusiasm and hope for a better future.
Then, over the next three to six months all that fades and the people move on to the "next thing" and/or fall back into the old habits and way of doing things.
I've worked with CEOs who were formerly in CEO peer groups like a Vistage program where they go away for monthly day-long retreats.
They come back all jazzed up and try to implement something that to which their team members roll their eyes and lay low with passive-aggressive lip service waiting for it to fade away.
This becomes what many employees in these companies call "the flavor of the month."
They've learned how to manipulate the CEO without overtly resisting. The resistance is covert. Creating a culture my prospective client's tell me is one in which "my people don't like change."
PEOPLE DO LIKE CHANGE
I wish I had a dime for every business owner or CEO told me "my people don't like change."
I'd ask them, "really, have you ever had one of your employees tell you
they were leaving for a different job to work for a different company
they never worked for before, or were leaving to get married, or moving
to a new city with their spouse, or were excited to share with you they
were expecting a new child into their family in 7 months hence?"
Those are all "self-initiated" change that people embrace and choose to bring into their lives.
So, I don't buy that people don't like change.
It's the type of change people don't like.
THE 3 TYPES OF CHANGE
- Imposed Change:
This is change imposed from outside forces, such as a boss, company
ownership from afar away corporate office, a significant other deciding
to leave a relationship, law enforcement professional, government
regulation change, etc.
- Natural: This is change
that comes to us naturally through universal laws like the weather,
gravity, aging, etc. There is nothing a human being can do to avoid
these changes. All we can do is work with them to mitigate the downside
and to leverage the best possible outcome from the situations they bring
- Self-Initiated: This is the change we bring into our lives like moving away from home when we think we're ready to go out in the real world, changing jobs to one that we think promises something better, getting into an intimate relationship, getting out of an intimate relationship, buying and moving into a new home, deciding to bring a baby into a relationship through natural means or adoption, etc.
As a leader of your company and your employees you have to work with your employees as they experience all of those types of changes.
A good leader understands these three and communicates with empathy and compassion to help his or her people through the good, the bad, the frustrations, and challenges of all type of change.
BUT, the biggest challenge you have is communicating to
build the buy-in from your team members to your latest attempt at an
"imposed" change you need their buy-in for.
STOP SELLING & START SHOWING
Most change experts tell you that you need o speak to the radio frequency all human beings tune into "WII-FM." The WII-FM represents, "What's In It For Me."
WII-FM speaks to the benefit the subject will receive when the outcome is achieved.
And, when this approach is applied so many business leaders tell me they don't understand why they still experience significant resistance. They are perplexed. The benefit is so obvious to them they cannot understand why their team members don't "get it."
They lament as I documented above, "my people just don't like change." NOT TRUE.
The solution is to stop selling the WII-FM, and start showing the WIM-FM.
WIM-FM doesn't roll off the tongue as fluently but it will allow your change initiative to flow more effectively with your team members.
WIM-FM represents a similar acronym but offers a much more powerful approach.
WIM-FM represents, "What's It Mean For Me."
It's the meaning that is the first thing your people's thoughts will default to, automatically. This is your negative, knee-jerk, resistant-seeming, initial reaction. It's that knee jerk reaction that instantly derails the conversation and you begin to feel you've lost control.
Show that you understand the meaning.
To get the most committed buy-in you need to show the meaning both in terms of the overall team, and for that of each individual team member.
There is no guarantee that your team members will buy-in after seeing that you understand "what it means for them," but it gives you a much higher likelihood than just selling the WII-FM.
3 STEPS TO OVERCOMING THE CYNICISM & SKEPTICISM WORKPLACE CHALLENGE
If you've tried to get your team members to participate in any workplace initiative to think, feel, and act differently, and those initiatives have lacked staying power, you are going to face cynicism and skepticism when asking for their help.
This is where you have to put your big boy/big girl pants on to face the music and take your medicine.
Three steps you need to prepare for to take your first step in creating your Championship Work Environment:
- 1) Expect Cynicism, Skepticism, and Resistance: What
you resists, persists. Understand that even if you've never tried
anything like asking your employees as a group to implement a change
initiative at your company, some may have experienced elsewhere.
Expect the cynicism, skepticism, and resistance. BUT, don't just expect it. Accept it and appreciate it!
2) Prepare Your "WIM-FM" Approach: Suspend your enthusiasm for the initiative and put yourself at the desk or work station of your team members.
Ask yourself, "what does this mean for my team members in terms of effort, comfort zone barriers, learning something unfamiliar and uncomfortable?"
Look from the perspective of each individual team member, because each has a different personality, and personal and professional needs and desires. But, also think of how it impacts the team as a group. This is because people may have to change how they interact and the level of collaboration they may or may not to engage in.
3) Adopt a Humble Mindset & Be Open to Being Vulnerable: If you want your team team members to buy-into the fact this is going to be different this time you are going to have to fess up that how you have approached these initiatives in the past hasn't allowed them to sustain.
You will read more about how to do that in Lesson 2. This lesson is to prepare you for it. Being humble and vulnerable is difficult for all of us.
What I've learned to be true is that in the right place, at the right time, with the right balance, being humble and vulnerable is very powerful to bring people on to your side. You need your people walking side-by-side with you.
Additionally, this work is going to require your team members to be humble and vulnerable, so their leader needs to lead the way by modeling the desired attitudes and behaviors.
What you just read is the first step in your first step to creating Your Championship Company Work Environment.
This step gets your mindset in the best place to develop your playbooks within this Game Plan so that you can communicate to motivate your team members for maximum buy-in and commitment.
Next time you will
learn the four "plays" your Playbook must include to get it right the
first time. This is vital because you only have one chance to get it
If you'd like to accelerate your journey to create Your Championship Work Environment that leads to "a financially and emotionally rewarding place to work," click the button below to schedule Your Championship Work Environment Accelerator Session.
'Til Next Time, All My Best...