Readying your team for Change

10th June 2024

When it comes to readying your team for change, I believe it starts and ends with one word – communication.

Words: Amanda Roche Kelly

Clear, direct and frequent communication builds employees’ understanding of what they’re doing and why they’re doing it during periods of change or upheaval.

In the moment, clarity as to the purpose of change and what an organisation is working towards is critical.

Regardless of what change is underway within a team or organisation, it is essential that employees feel empowered in their work, understand the larger goals and values of an organisation, and are clear in what it is that they are collectively working towards.

I have found that for the most part, people want to be engaged and challenged through their work, and are receptive to change.

They want to work towards a greater mission and overcome obstacles to get there. But it is your duty as a leader to create an environment where they are stimulated and empowered to do great work and where they can take pride in their achievements. This has been a priority for me at Just Eat. I believe we have some of the most talented professionals in the country working for us, and it’s my job to demonstrate to them why our company is a great place for them to invest their time and their skills.

Our culture here in Just Eat is firmly rooted in a set of core values: which are to Lead, Deliver, and Care. These values are deeply ingrained in our organisation and I aim to instil them in everything that we do here.

Due to Just Eat being an app-based platform, digital transformation and new technologies are essential to the running of our business. Such technologies are synonymous with change, making the nature of our work highly volatile, with communication being a critical factor to the success of the team.

Throughout periods of change, it is also important to remember that communication is not just a one-way street.

While it’s all well and good that you are communicating clearly and frequently with co-workers, if they don’t feel that they are being listened to in turn, they will have no reason to trust you or believe in your organisation.

While it is not possible or advisable to try and please everyone all the time, it is important to ensure that your co-workers feel seen and heard.

As a leader it is incumbent on you to listen to the people in your organisation, taking on board ideas for change and innovation from all levels, as well as listening to and resolving any legitimate concerns or issues that they may have.

The mantra that I live by in both life and work, is that ‘people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’, and as a leader it is always my priority to make people feel good about the work they are doing, particularly during challenging periods.

I believe that the long tenure of my team here in Just Eat Ireland is testament to this style of leadership during periods of change.

I am also a firm believer that when making decisions about the strategic change of direction in a business, it is essential to bring together people of all levels and perspectives to discuss how to best implement that decision in the most effective way for everyone – good employees will bring interesting perspectives that can help deliver positive outcomes for an organisation.

In an effort to drive communication in Just Eat, I carry out weekly 1-1s with my senior leadership team, do monthly All-Hands meetings, and a quarterly business review, all with the aim of ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to be heard, and are included and up-to-date on important decisions regarding the strategic direction of the business. I also operate an ‘open-door’ policy, so that people can feel empowered to discuss any thoughts, ideas or concerns they may have.

For me, creating an environment where people feel good about the work they do and the culture and the environment they are working in has been an absolute priority.

I believe that creating an environment that is inclusive and friendly leads to everyone having a more positive work experience and can also help to create a more productive workplace.

But it is always important to remember that you are professionals, and you have all come together for a reason – there is a larger organisational goal that you are all working towards and you need to be able to rely on each other to deliver in your work.

The ideas of clear and open communication, ensuring that co-workers identify with your organisation’s mission and understand their work is valued, creating a friendly and professional environment, and recognising people for their work are all key tenets in helping to create the right company culture and readying your team for change.

It is also important to remember that this is not a process that has an end point, a good company culture is always a work in progress and something we must strive to maintain every single day.

Amanda Roche-Kelly has been Managing Director of Just Eat Takeaway in Ireland since 2013 and has built a strong brand.  She continues to drive growth and expansion at Just Eat by harnessing the latest innovations in technology, responding to and anticipating evolving and changing consumer needs and demands and building deep relationships.  Amanda is a WMB Diversity Ambassador.