The Basics of Organizational Change
The premise is straightforward. You need to better engage people for successful change. To get it right takes active involvement, transparency, and openness.
No one should undertake an organizational change initiative lightly. This is especially true for complex organizational change initiatives where the majority (up to 70% by most accounts) fail. Why do they fail?
One of the main reasons is inadequate preparation on the part of senior leaders. They have not gained enough understanding or spent enough time engaging their employees to get behind the initiative. Too many employees are left on the shore with no compelling reason to dive in and pull the company in the new direction.
Why People Resist Change
People naturally resist change. They accept the current situation and they are comfortable with that familiarity. In general, we feel fear and anxiety about the unknown, as well as uncertainty about whether the future will be an improvement over the status quo.
Change management consulting experts know that the key to successful change is getting stakeholders involved early on and earning their support. The challenge then becomes how to engage stakeholders which should include employees, customers, partners, and suppliers.
Five Tips to Better Engage People for Successful Change
Until employees understand the business case for change, buy into the urgency for change, and can articulate what’s in it for them, it will be hard to persuade them that the change is in their best interests.
Too many leaders leave employees out of the early change strategy and change planning sessions and are surprised that, when they inform the workforce of desired changes, there is not universal support.
Actively solicit the input of front-line workers so you can consider carefully the effects of each step, prioritize resources, and sequence the work in a coordinated fashion. Be sure to establish some key principles and boundaries that will guide everyone going forward.
Be open to criticism so you can evaluate whether you need to tweak the plan or explain what is realistic and feasible.
The Bottom Line
Put people most affected by change at the center of your organizational change efforts. They are the ones who can ensure your change initiative is truly successful.
To learn more about how to better engage people for successful change, download 5 Research-Backed Lenses of Change Leadership to Get Right
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