Change is inevitable. Frequently,workplace change initiatives are met with resistance, backlash and a refusal to adapt. During times of change, employee engagement and employee confidence in their organization can fall drastically, leading to lower retention and less quality work. In fact, according to research from more than 40 studies, only 33 percent of change initiatives are successful, and the determining factor for success falls on the leadership team and how they mobilize employees to champion change. So, don’t let change derail your employees’ productivity. Mobilize them.
When leaders resist change and do not cooperate voluntarily, employees fail to see the importance in making changes themselves. This frequently leads to unsuccessful and failed initiatives. With so much relying on leaders, there are some team building strategies that you can implement in your workplace to keep your team members engaged and excited for any upcoming changes.
Team building strategies that keep your employees engaged during change initiatives
Participate in training programs before change is rolled out.
One of the most effective strategies that you can implement for a successful change initiative is encouraging key leaders to participate in a proven training program that helps them mobilize employees, plan for change and then execute change with an accountable and strategic change team.. The Engaging Employees to Champion Change audio training program with e-book training retention support offered by the TIGERS® Success Series introduces leaders to the process of engaging employees to commit to and champion change. Studies find that leadership commitment and employee engagement are required for initiatives to succeed. With two-thirds of all change initiatives failing, the biggest obstacle for these initiatives is leaders resisting the change. The third training in the TIGERS Master Licensing Series directly addresses this process and shows leaders how to engage their team members in advance of change and how to develop a cross-functional team approach to the change planning and implementation process. The planning process is tied to accountability outcomes and focuses on the behavior, communication, strategic planning, and plan execution process. When accomplished correctly, employees champion the change process, are engaged and your company experiences the benefits of those organizations whose change efforts succeed.
Set the team up for success.
According to the Korn Ferry Hay Group Research Proves Employee Engagement Drops During Organizational Change, clearly communicating with your team before a change takes place and getting leaders involved in the planning process goes a long way in creating a successful transition. Setting the team up for success includes involving all team members and providing support and the necessary tools that leaders need to help their team members during the transitional time. When a change is about to occur, it can be easy to view certain team members as nonessential personnel that don’t need to know details about the upcoming change. And while this can be true to a certain extent, it’s important for leaders to recognize that change affects all team members throughout the organization, and the easiest way to soften the blow is by getting team members involved before the change takes place. This is why cross-functional team implementation is so critical.
Focus on the positives.
There probably will be resistance to focus on when change takes place, especially if things were going well within the organization before the change. Overall, change should be viewed as a positive scenario. This is where employee championing comes in. What’s working now is based on a number of factors, including the economy and current technology, but as these can quickly change. We are not advocating change for change sake. However, it’s important to recognize that you should be willing to change too to keep up with the times. So when a new CEO is onboarded or leaders introduce a new software system, focus on why these changes with improve ROI, perhaps include performance bonuses during and after execution based on measurable ROI and encourage other leaders to do the same.
Give it time.
Change takes time. Culture change can take three years. Post merger change can also take three years to finally hit productivity strides. In my experience, one health care merger took 18 months, but that was after other change agents had already failed. Accepting that change is going to take some time means that how change affects your team’s morale, productivity and engagement isn’t accomplished by bringing outsiders in to orchestrate change. It must come from the inside out and with skilled and trained managers who understand group development methods, behavior, planning and who work with employees to mobilize them to champion the change . One way that is taught in the TIGERS Master Licensing to use time to your advantage is time boxing. Time boxing is the strategy of putting time limits on achieving tasks or achieving goals that also have action planning time lines attached to them. So during change initiatives, set certain time parameters on when certain changes must be fully integrated. Break it up into small, manageable chunks that can be implemented one at a time so that your team members don’t feel overwhelmed by too much change all at once. You are then able to track productivity improvements and cost savings after each roll out, which is motivating for everyone.
Sometimes change is a choice, and sometimes it’s because of an unforeseen circumstance. No matter why it happens, it happens. What matters is how you prepare your team for the change, especially your leaders. Leaders are one major determining factor for change to be successful. The other piece of the change dynamic are employees who champion the process so your outcomes occur under budget and ahead of schedule. Some strategies that can improve your success include: encouraging leaders to participate in training programs; setting all team members up for success through effective communication; focusing on the positives; and giving it time. Change is a fact of life and it is a fact for sustainable business. However, with effective team building strategies, leaders can keep their team members engaged and productive during times of change. Don’t let change derail your employees’ productivity.
For more information on TIGERS® Success Series change solutions:
To add to the conversation, consider the following:
- Korn Ferry Hay Group Research Proves Employee Engagement Drops During Organizational Change
- Shift Your Mindset and Actions to Embrace Change
- How to Inspire Creativity During High-Stress Projects
Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton
TIGERS® Success Series is a Bend, Oregon Team and Work Culture Development Consultant offering a robust, comprehensive, behavior-based group development system that can help you track your ROI for change and workforce development initiatives. We train your team to expertly build and grow your business through teams for improved revenue, purpose and impact. Call US 1-877-538-2822 or International 1+ 541-385-7465 for more information.