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7 Ways to Help Managers Lead Through Change & Uncertainty


February 26, 2018

“If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.” Lee Iacocca

I’m sure that there seems to be more uncertainty in our working lives then ever before.

Interest rates, global stock markets, oil prices, shopping habits are all shifting and there’s plenty of debate as to where the future lies.

As a result, our managers are charged with leading their teams through this maze of uncertainty.

This can be unsettling for managers at all levels and can cause them to realize and uncover the areas of support they need.

The Support Managers Need

Here are 7 areas of support that I have identified that our managers will need so that they can perform effectively during times of change and uncertainty:

  • Education – to know what’s ‘normal’ can be immensely reassuring and to find out about the supporting models, theories and practical approaches will help managers identify ways in which they can lead based on the pioneering work of others
  • Coaching – holding conversations and activities that work with managers to find their own solutions to the challenges of change is a really powerful approach. It would be great if their senior manager was their coach!
  • Support, attention, empathy – from their own Senior Manager. Times of change and uncertainty can be distracting for everyone. Senior managers want to bring some certainty and might be dealing with the more personal uncertainties they perceive to be at play. Encouraging the senior leaders to remain engaged with their own direct reports brings about a united, cohesive, collaborative approach and boosts the engagement people feel.
  • Peer support – the chance to discuss frustrations/concerns/challenges and “let off steam” becomes even more vital during these times. Providing opportunities for discussion as part of a regular meeting agenda can generate a sense of community and creativity.
  • HR support – always promote a strong partnership between managers and their HR partner or team so they can manage with confidence, check ways of dealing with particular people management situations and work with policies and guidelines along the way.
  • Goals and feedback – managers need to be clear about their personal reasons for why they’re committed to living through and delivering change for the organisation. The need to identify shorter-term targets to focus on – taking “one step at a time” – will be a powerful way to keep motivation going while the longer-term future is being determined.
  • A forum – provide a mechanism so that managers have the chance to contribute their ideas to the change programme. Inclusion is a key element of change management and managers need this too

At Change Formation we specialise in working with senior and middle managers to develop their stand-out, exceptional leadership behaviours and practices.

Contact us to discuss the ways in which we can support your development goals. email: or call +44 (0) 7840 323585 today.

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