Celebrate Small Steps on the Way to Big Organizational Change

Outlines of two footprints entitled "Step by Step"

One of the keys to successful organizational change management consulting is to track and celebrate the small steps on the way to that big, hairy, audacious goal you have set.

Don’t make organizational change even more difficult. We all know how employees are apt to resist change initially because they fear how they will be affected, are reluctant to put in the extra work involved and prefer the comfortable and safety of the status quo. These change management consulting obstacles can be overcome but they are challenging.  Change leaders need to:

  • Clearly and continuously communicate the need for change in a compelling way
  • Honestly answer questions and address issues directly
  • Authentically empathize with the difficulties employees face
  • Unwaveringly provide support for those in transition
  • Ruthlessly maintain focus over the long-term

Quite a list of responsibilities for organizational change leadership!

But here’s a tip that can make the process easier. Set the vision for the journey, yes, but mark the small steps of progress along the way.

It is all too easy to get discouraged when the goal is in the too distant future and seems unreachable. Break the overall change down into more concrete, achievable goals. The small wins help employees see that they are making advances and can learn along the way. Otherwise, they can become disheartened as they face inevitable setbacks. Sometimes the only step forward may be the insights gained from the day’s failures, but it is important that the team recognize that they are moving in the right direction.

There are other advantages to taking one step at a time. The small steps do more than simply feed the human desire to succeed, they also:

  • Increase faith in the worth of the effort and encourage others to commit to the change
  • Sway the cynics to a more positive view of the organizational change as they see real progress
  • Give an “atta-boy” to those who are working hard to achieve the vision
  • Provide feedback on the value of the vision and the path the leaders have chosen

As you put together a plan for organizational change, break it down into pieces that employees can tackle and conquer even as you help them keep their eyes on the ultimate goal.

Learn More About How to Successfully Recognize and Reward Organizational Change

 

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