How to Engage People in Change Management

12 June 2017 | Share it on social networks

How to Engage People in Change Management?

In a world of increasing diversity, culture and competitiveness we are often faced with changes that affect the way we work and behave, this article will hopefully inform you on how to manage a change to become successful with the people it is impacting.

In our current climate of competitive business, it is almost a baseline requirement for the company and its employees to be adaptable and flexible. However, this is not a baseline emotion that is shared between all people, many become attached to their comfort-zone and fear the oncoming risk. A survey by Robert Half Management Resources found that ‘45% of top level leaders… said they had been struggling in the execution phase of their change management efforts.’

The way to ensure people accept the change is to engage the stakeholders at different stages of the life cycle. Collaboration between project teams and stakeholders ensures that all needs are addressed, whilst also managing expectations of the end result. The following points are considered best practice, and work towards ensuring a successful change amongst people:

1. Instilling a strategy that has a clear structure with defined roles:
•Creating a strategy that has pre-determined roles and actors with set responsibilities.
•Actors such as ‘Executive Change Sponsor’ can help drive change through various levels of an organisation from a top-down approach.
•Having support from management to demonstrate the benefits of the change and provide training, workshops and meetings where necessary to ease the transition.

2. Establishing early communication and collaboration tools:
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•Creating an understanding where the project team and run team are aware that they can collaborate towards providing the best service. Allowing both teams to give The run team can help identify points of improvement for themselves as part of the change.
•Creating an innovation hub where ideas can be shared, options can be explored and research can be done - all in a transparent and visible platform. This can be done through numerous tools, such as internal social media applications, shared storage space such as Google Drives to follow progress on relevant topics.
•Having regular surveys and questionnaires to the end users to gain their opinion and viewpoint on any iteration that has been made. This prepares the users for an change that is about to come and gives them some say in what can be improved. Obviously, not all feedback can be taken into consideration, but can have some impact.

3. Lead with culture:
•It’s important to embrace the culture of the organisation and to nurture that within the change. To understand the company’s history, the values, rules and traditions can affect the way the change is implemented and received. To maintain the diversity, whilst also adopting the various changes in our industry is a key factor to adopt. Within MC2i we have both the British and French values, working side by side for a common purpose and goal. Questions we can ask ourselves are: What do we value about MC2i? What values do people in MC2i showcase when working? What do MC2i employees feel is important to them? Such values can become meaningful and shared, and allow people to strive for a common goal. When a change is introduced to help towards that goal, acceptance would become widely received.
•Culture is a significant part of a company and an important value to an employee. To maintain this trust and commitment of culture ensures that the change is not going to come at a loss of what is already important, rather it enforces the reason for change for a common purpose and vision
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Change comes in many shapes and sizes, and not everyone can see the benefits and doubts on the same level. Often in our current era a change happens to enhance efficiency and to save costs, such as the trendy cloud solutions. But more than faster CPU and cloud based solutions, are the people that work together side by side to make the company a whole. Change management is not to just ease the transition, but to also remind the workforce that they are an integral part of the organisation and culture.

Both internationally, nationally and locally - the lesson to be learnt is that people make a change successful.

As John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

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