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How to Motivate Front-Line Staff to Change

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

hire a motivational speakerI was a motivational speaker for a group of franchise employees struggling with change. A dilemma brewed between senior leaders and front-line staff regarding change.

To get to the bottom of the gap, I spent 45 minutes on the phone with several front-line employees, followed by the senior leadership team. 

Obviously, the conversation about change management is very different if you are talking to a CEO than it is for a front -line staff.

Front-line staff felt like they were the unappreciated work horses of change. The change was confusing, constant and it was hard to keep up. Uncertainty was always putting pressure beneath the surface and stalling collaboration.

To connect with a front- line staff, you have to show how both ( leaders and front- line) work together as a common goal- changing how the organization operates. Many franchise front-line staff won't buy into organizational goals like corporate profit. However, they do relate to the connection that company profit means they make money and get paid, get job experience and potentially more job security.

Change management can help you shape your day by always answering what needs to be done. This courageous attitude says yes and jumps in to help figure out priorities. Responding with a yes attitude throughout change takes courage and conviction. However, a deep emotional connection to the company and the work will fuel progress.

Stirring up deeply felt, upbeat emotions may be the best way to connect front- line staff throughout change. Often the front- line is the most hands- on, direct connection to whether change is working or not. Replace fear and anxiety by empowering the front-line to solve problems.

For change to be successful, we need to manage the technical side of change management and the people side.  Only when we get buy in at all levels will change succeed. The goal is to help people on the team become more effective, not to try to point out flaws in their work.

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