Poor little guy! He was told by some grown-up that he couldn’t just play around as usual; he had to lift some heavy weights. He must feel the way many employees feel when they have been told there is major change afoot. They had no say in the decision…they must do as they are told. They see the organizational change as a near impossible feat. They don’t know what will happen if they can’t adjust to the challenge and succeed.
When organizational change seems impossible to accept and overcome, it is up to leadership to ease the path for employees. Management needs to understand how it feels as an individual employee to hear that organizational change is needed, that it is required and that they must be part of successful change or risk being left behind.
Our organizational alignment research found that factors relating to employees’ positive responsiveness to the changes needed to remain competitive accounted for an almost 5-to-1 difference in performance. In our twenty years of helping clients manage organizational change successfully, here is what we have learned about successfully navigating the rough seas.
1. Plan and prepare.
When you as leaders have determined that change is required to succeed, you need to develop a clear and compelling message for the troops. No longer can you just dictate what needs to happen. You must try to inspire your employees to understand your vision and fully commit to it. Tell a captivating story that explains the rationale for change and what success will look like at the company, team and individual levels. Make sure the story you tell is relevant, simple and straightforward so that it can be easily and accurately cascaded throughout the organization.
2. Provide forums for questions and discussion.
Few will jump aboard the bandwagon at the outset. Most will react with denial at first and then with resistance. It is as if employees don’t want to face that the change is real. Initially it is easier to hold on to the past. And then, when they realize that change is going to happen, they resist it. Why? Because it is often much easier to hold on to what was comfortable and known than to meet the challenge of the new and different.
The best way to guide employees from change denial and resistance to change acceptance is to be available to answer their concerns and questions about what the change will mean for them as a group, as a team and as an individual. They want to know specifically how the change will affect them personally. Tell them what you know, what you do not know yet and when you will be able to fill in any information gaps.
3. Provide support and resources.
Once employees accept that change will and must occur, be there to encourage them and to supply whatever training and resources will help them move forward. Understand that change can be hard work for some and that individuals will go through change at different paces. Some will be excited to explore what the change can do for them and others will still be uneasy and lack confidence as they try to learn new skills and a new process.
4. Encourage commitment.
Use your best performance management techniques to reward the behaviors that lead to change. It won’t be long before the change has become embedded in employee attitudes and has become familiar and natural.
4 Steps to Create Strategic Alignment
I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.
Human Resource Manager
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.
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Workforce Planning Bureau
Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.
Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance
LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.
In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.
Firmware Engineering Supervisor
VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.
Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources
In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.
Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.
Director of Human Resources
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development
The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.
Firmware Engineering Manager
Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.
Vice President of Human Resources
LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.
Director of Human Resources
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