We all like to tell ourselves we’re open to change, but the reality is that change is often met with heavy resistance.
Some people resist because they fear how change will affect them. Other resist change because making real change takes a great deal of work. In the workplace, these and other forms of resistance are why organizational change efforts fail.
Large-scale change campaigns can be effective, however, with a good and thorough plan. Consider the following key measures of a good change initiative.
Form a Leadership Group
If change in an organization is going to start at the top, leaders need to be organized and offer a united front. An effective way to do this is to form a leadership group that is tasked with implementing the change initiative. The team ought to include managers from all affected departments. Group members should be chosen based on their enthusiasm and dedication to making the change happen.
Include Employees in the Change-Leadership Group
After an initial leadership group is formed, employee representatives should be brought into the campaign. Employee representatives can provide granular insight on how the change will impact various jobs throughout the organization. It’s essential company leaders consider this insight, as well as act on it.
In addition to creating a more informed change campaign, the inclusion of employees also has the added bonus or increasing buy-in. Employees are much more likely to go along with change if they feel a sense of ownership about it.
In order for a change campaign to succeed, it’s important for the leadership group to articulate a crystal-clear vision of what must happen and the desired outcomes. Unless everybody understands exactly why factors are shifting and what must occur, the change effort is in danger of stalling as a result of insufficient direction.
The leadership group should also communicate details related to the change early and frequently, keeping a consistent message. Staff members are more likely to resist change when they feel blindsided or confused about what it means for them.
Empower Staff Members
To ensure change sticks and the initiative can adapt to changing realities, leadership should encourage staff members to contribute to the transition. This doesn’t mean letting everybody do anything they want, but instead, giving them the chance to make choices that will move the company toward its objectives. For instance, a company shifting its customer service process can enable customer service representatives to give refunds to unsatisfied customers without manager validation.
Finally, it’s important to celebrate when your team makes progress toward stated change objectives. When the change campaign is a long one, staff members can lose commitment if they sense that nothing is happening. Recognizing short-term victories can go a long way to preserving momentum.
At Action Group Staffing, we support our clients’ change initiatives by providing them with custom service and talent acquisition solutions. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your organization pull off a large change initiative.