Empowering Resilience: 3 Tips to Manage Change Amid Uncertainty

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Reduction in force. It’s a reality that has become all too familiar for many enablement practitioners in today’s business landscape. Change is a near constant, which means uncertainty is prevalent. Understandably, this can be anxiety-inducing, especially for those impacted by reductions or restructured teams.

From feelings of job insecurity to the pressure of fewer resources to changing roles and responsibilities, these changes can cause rifts in team and company culture. And while at times these changes can be isolating, it isn’t a challenge you need to face alone. Refocusing feelings of uncertainty and isolation into a future-focused mindset helps create stability and resilience during difficult times.

Here are a few strategies for enablement leaders to stay grounded and resilient after a reduction in force impacts their business.

1. Have a Candid Conversation With Leadership

After a reduction in force, it is important to hold candid conversations with leaders to align expectations going forward. As resources change, it is important to have a clear understanding of how teams will function as a result. By meeting with leadership, team members can voice their concerns, gain an understanding of new expectations, and hear their leaders’ perspectives.

Candid conversations offer a safe, constructive environment to work through this difficult time collaboratively and get clarity on the path ahead. They can also offer confirmation that a role is still key within a team and will continue to drive value for the organization.

Consider using the following conversation framework to structure this meeting:

Candid Conversation Framework:

  • Level setting: Ask questions to clarify the specific details of the changes made to the team. For example: Did company goals change? Did team goals change? How? What does this mean for my role?
  • Existing workload and roadmap: Evaluate the current workload and how it will shift as a result of the team’s changes. Ask questions to determine where current backlogged projects should sit on the roadmap.
  • Impact of initiatives: Work through the roadmap to determine the level of effort needed to complete new initiatives and the impact this work will have on the organization. This is important to ensure that roadmap items are worth their invested time and will drive impact for the team.
  • Metrics: Align on metrics for new initiatives and focus on measuring for impact that will demonstrate value to executive leadership.
  • Next steps: Close the conversation by setting clear next steps. For example, communicate priority changes to stakeholders and explain the reasons why. Transparency will ensure a smooth transition following a reduction in force. Any outstanding questions for leadership should be addressed in a follow-up meeting.

After this conversation, it is often easier to understand the shift in the team’s roles, their new priorities, and how these fit within the team’s updated ecosystem.

2. Evaluate the Impact of Existing Programs

Based on the clarity gained from a candid conversation with leadership, it is important to take time to evaluate how changes in priorities will impact existing enablement programs. Making the specific details and benefits of each program clear to reps can help them feel motivated to participate, even during times of uncertainty. Here are two categories you can use to evaluate the impact of your enablement programs:

  • Value and Outcomes: What value will be gained from participating in an enablement program? Consider the specific goal at hand and the outcomes that the program is expected to deliver. Will sellers become more effective? Will they become better supporters of partners? Specifying the value of each program encourages reps by showing what’s in it for them before they even start.
  • Time Commitment: How much time commitment is required? Especially after a reduction in force, teams may be asked to do more than can fit in a day. If a program is a major time commitment, reps may lack motivation to even begin among all their other tasks. Delivering enablement in small, digestible increments ensures reps can complete necessary programs and feel less overwhelmed by the workload.

Optimizing reps’ time and effort will help them focus on delivering more impactful customer and partner interactions.

3. Ensure Accessibility

When navigating a major transition, accessibility is essential. Enablement programs should be optimized in every way, including ease of access — this means considering not only the content but the way the content is delivered.

For example, consider how to effectively surface content in the tools that sellers use daily and how to make accessing this content even more seamless. This way, despite being asked to deliver value amid a time of turbulence and transition, sellers can efficiently and effectively access the resources they need. Optimizing accessibility will improve engagement, streamline the way reps find key resources, and eliminate the need for extra steps, helping sellers maximize their potential.

Navigating the changes that follow a reduction in force is a complex task that many businesses face in today’s ever-changing environment. However, using strategies to stay grounded amid the uncertainties that come with restructuring can help make the process easier to navigate. By having candid conversations, evaluating existing programs, and maintaining accessibility, teams can effectively work through a reduction in force to settle into new objectives and reach new goals.

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