10 Steps to Successful Change Engagement

 Success rate of change programs are not great.  It’s in the execution that most fail.  So how do you implement change and manage the complexities of human behaviour, when change is so personal?

The successful implementation of change is dependent on the way that people understand their roles and have had input in the design. Decisions made behind closed doors with little or no input from the people who are expected to change their behaviour and work patterns is a key contributor to change programs failing.

While every change program is different, there is a single common principle that defines the process – change is personal.

Understanding what motivates an individual to change is critical in building the bigger picture of organisational change.

The 10 steps to successful change engagement include:

1. Identify your approach. Design a robust change plan/methodology with clearly defined outcomes and actions. Create individual project plans to support the various key actions of the change plan and ensure you have the right people (respected individuals, with the necessary skills, knowledge) leading the change.

2. Prepare your key sponsor and leadership team. Leadership is the key lever in achieving successful engagement. Leadership teams set the tone and establish the behaviours that others will follow. For leaders to succeed, they need to be highly visible sponsors and exceptional role models capable of articulating the rationale for change in a consistent and unified way. They need to be fully committed to the program and follow through with commitments. Introducing coaching and training on change management and the role leaders play during change is a necessary investment many organisations overlook.

3. Connect the hearts and the WIIFM. Change needs to be at the heart of the organisation. Engage front line managers early in the process and empower them with the necessary skills and coaching to manage change. Managers will need to coach their people and personalise the change – the ‘what’s in it for me’ – for people to believe and increase their desire to want to change.

4. Build a campaign and rally the troops! Build your change plan into a campaign. Make it exciting by highlighting the benefits and how your people can get involved in ways that are meaningful to them – not you! Rally your people to the cause.  Create excitement and a sense of urgency.

5. Introduce learning and support programs. Since the introduction of change (moving from current to future state) generally involves the introduction of new systems, skills and new and different ways of doing and behaving, introduce relevant learning programs and support systems to ensure people build the capability necessary to make the change.

6. Communicate, Communicated, Communicate. Clear, concise, consistent, honest communication. You can never do too much of this. Do it well, utilising numerous mediums, however do not underestimate the power of face to face and personal communication.

7. Introduce performance measures. Ensure consistent performance measures specific to the new way of working are cascaded down the organisation to individual work plans for sustainable change.

8. Monitor regularly. With all the best intentions and planning, things will go wrong. Put in place monitoring processes and guidelines to ensure appropriate steps are taken to minimise risk before it happens. Survey the success of change and look at what areas still require focus. Which groups are resisting the change?  What changes are required to existing plans to improve engagement and buy-in?

9. Celebrate success and reward consistently. Reinforce the positive changes being realised and act promptly and decisively when performance and behaviours are not conducive to the desired changes. Be very clear and specific and ensure rewards/awards are applied consistently across the organisation.

10. Keep the change real!  You’ve ticketed off all the process steps of your change plan, and people are beginning to settle into the new way of working. Benefits of the change are being realised.  But don’t stop now.  Keep the change real and instil it into the culture of the business.   Change is constant and this should be considered the beginning and not the end.

Employee engagement during change forms a unit of study in our 2 upcoming training programs . Registrations for our July 2015 workshops are now open.

For more info contact us.