In response to the pandemic, organisations have spent two years adapting and reacting, but now the pressure is on for them to transform.
Adopting new ways of working can ensure that companies are ready for whatever comes next. Transformation through change initiatives can help businesses get ahead, remain relevant, and gain a competitive edge.
However, change efforts can fall flat if your teams are not led effectively. Our sister company, ILX, discussed this in their recent blog article: Think before you change, where they cited a whole host of reasons why efforts can fail, from poor communication to ill-planned timing. So, here we are going to address what leaders can do to tackle these challenges, the preventative steps they can take to stop issues arising, and how best to lead your service management team through change initiatives.
Onboarding employees with a compelling vision
Despite the shake up ITSM employees have been subjected to throughout the pandemic, many are still nervous of change. And so, transformation plans are likely to be met with resistance. However, all is not lost and, with strong leadership and a compelling vision, this can be remedied.
The successful implementation of a change initiative relies upon defining a picture of your desired outcomes. Having first established your drivers for change, the benefits of the transformation, and the risks at play, your vision should be clear and defined. Your vision should be compelling to bring your teams onboard, and it should motivate them (and you) to act in support of the change efforts.
Along with a compelling vision, gaining the backing of your staff can hinge on your leadership style. Being a trustworthy leader – a status which is obtained through your daily choices and actions which instil trust – can be make-or-break when presenting your vision to your service management team. Leaders must demonstrate their commitment to the vision, and embody the mission in all that they do. When your sincerity, passion and drive for change shines through, it is only to be expected that employees will follow suit.
Communicating with transparency and clarity
Part and parcel of being a good leader is being able to communicate with openness and honesty. And rarely is this more important than when leading your service management team through a transformation. The role of communication in change efforts should not be overlooked, and what you communicate to your teams is equally as important as its delivery.
When shooting to attain buy-in for an initiative, open dialogue is key. Service management professionals need a clear understanding of the drivers behind the change in order to gain confidence, and to know the broader context of the initiatives too. Strong communication is vital to change success. By communicating with transparency and clarity, leaders align employees with the goals of the change efforts and strengthen their loyalty.
Leaders must also recognise that the introduction of change is a pivotal point, and handle how the change is introduced with thought and care. They must deliver the right information to their teams in a way that is easily understood, where possible in-person, and with an open invitation for concerns or questions to be raised and addressed. Afterall, communication is a two-way street, and an engaged employee is a supportive employee.
Involving and engaging teams
IT Service Management teams are integral to other internal teams and to their customers and clients. They are central to customer experience and satisfaction too. This is why leaders must prioritise leading ITSM staff through change initiatives successfully. Whether it’s developing new systems, switching up operating models, or overhauling the technology used, the more involved ITSM teams are, the more likely they are to contribute to the initiative’s success.
Getting your employees involved is crucial in order to develop change management strategies which work towards your end goal. As well as onboarding, you must keep the momentum of support going throughout the transformation. Value engagement techniques such as frequent communications as a way to leverage opportunities for contribution and build team spirit.
Involve ITSM professionals by giving them ownership of tasks and allowing them to achieve results on their own merit. Foster a culture where your service management team feels empowered to advance the change initiatives within your organisation. By prioritising involvement and engagement, your teams will see you working towards a common goal, and ultimately better your chances of change success.
To learn more about leading service management teams through transformation, and change within the ITIL service lifecycle, enrol on one of our accredited ITIL 4 courses.