The Importance of Celebrating Small Steps During Change

Importance of Celebrating Small Steps During Change Outlines of two footprints entitled "Step by Step"

Do Not Underestimate the Importance of Celebrating Small Steps During Change
One of the keys to successful organizational change is to recognize the importance of celebrating small steps during change.  The power of progress helps to track and celebrate the small steps on the way to that big, hairy, audacious goal.

Three Common Reasons People Resist Change
Leaders know the importance of celebrating small steps during change because they know many employees are initially apt to resist change because they:

  • Fear how they will be affected
  • Are reluctant to put in the extra work involved
  • Prefer the comfortable and safety of the status quo

Five Change Management Tips to Overcome Resistance
These change management obstacles can be overcome but they are challenging.  Change leaders need to:

  1. Be Clear – Clearly and continuously communicate the need for change in a compelling way
  2. Be Honest – Honestly answer questions and address issues directly
  3. Be Understanding – Authentically empathize with the difficulties employees face
  4. Be Invested – Unwaveringly provide support for those in transition
  5. Be Committed – Ruthlessly maintain focus over the long-term

Quite a list of responsibilities for organizational change leadership!

The Importance of Celebrating Small Steps During Change
When we think about celebrating change, we often think about major long-term goals or major milestones. While big wins are important, they themselves can change and are occur infrequently. So here’s a tip that can make the change process easier, mark the small steps of progress along the way.  Small wins can boost engagement tremendously.

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 learning and moving in the right direction.

Advantages of Celebrating Small Steps During Change
There are other advantages to taking change 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
  • Recognize those who are working hard to achieve the vision
  • Provide feedback on the value of the vision and the path the leaders have chosen

The Bottom Line
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.  Do not underestimate the importance of celebrating small steps during change.

To learn more about successful change management, download How to Successfully Recognize and Reward Organizational Change

 

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