Last month we talked about 3 ways to prepare your project team prior to a change:

  • Host a lessons learned roundtable
  • Include them in the product/workflow assessment
  • Know where they want to go with their professional development

Preparations were made, and now it is GO TIME!

Imagine that your change project is in flight, and your project team is busy working on implementation planning and strategy to help the rest of the team succeed at the time of deployment. While they are busy with a laser focus on end user experience, you’ll be well-served by slowing down just a bit to make sure to nurture their experience with the change.

Even with a project team that is fully brought into the “why” behind your project, there will still be an adjustment period. Change is hard work. Read on for a few of our favorite ideas to help your team put on their own “oxygen masks” before helping others.

Train ‘em Up!

Have you ever admitted something to a close friend that you wouldn’t want to admit to your family? For sure, right? We’ve been there, too. And when it comes to our work family, it isn’t all that different.

Your work family (project team) might not be willing to share their gaps in knowledge around the new product or workflow you are about to deploy. Protect them from having to be super brave and admit it by making sure that they are afforded learning time and resource support to boost their knowledge and confidence. Maybe even frame it up as an exercise in “thinking like a newbie end user” if you think egos might be at play.

Provide a Safe Space to Vent

If the road to change is too smooth, we are probably missing something. Give your team space to look around and identify opportunities for improvement, describe what they need in terms of assistance, and give them room to vent a bit about the whole process. There are lots of resources to help you learn more about the value of the broader concept of psychological safety – with this one being one of our favorites.

Remind the Team of the (Inspiring) Mission

When your project team is in deep with a resistant executive, an unexpected timeline delay, or yet another competing internal project  – help keep them moving forward by reminding them of the mission you are mutually striving to achieve.

Gratitude

Love, love, love. Find out how your team likes to be recognized on an individual level and deliver! A special lunch for those that like treats, a shout out in a leadership meeting for those that thrive on public recognition, a chance to present to VIPs for those who want professional development opportunities, etc. Go, go, go!

Your project team probably feels like part of your family, so let’s give them your best! Support your team and treat them well because it goes a long way to assuring a successful project.