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Leading Change: Are You Really Engaging Employees - Part 2 of 3

Read Part 1 of our case study for background information.

The stakeholder committee consisted of 20 individuals, both management and non-management and representing all departments within the organization. Every one of them responded to the survey questions, and, in fact, did so within three days of the survey being sent. I contributed this response to an initial meeting of the group where we shared that I was asked by Human Resources to learn more about their involvement in the change initiative so that we could structure a committee that worked for them and to help accomplish the project’s goals. I shared that we didn’t want to waste their time, but needed them to help us if the project was going to be a success. I also knew that by committee members being willing to respond, they cared and wanted things to change.

Survey Responses

In a summarized format, here are the responses received to the three open-ended questions posed to the committee members in the survey:

Question

Summarized Response

  • What were your expectations being part of the stakeholder committee?

Participants to the survey noted that expectations included:

  • Helping to structure the change
  • Providing feedback on proposed changes to the structure
  • Sharing ideas and suggestions with leadership

There was consensus among participants that the committee was purely “for show.”

  • Are those expectations being met? Why or why not?

All participants noted they were not being met due to the following reasons:

  • Input was not being asked for by leadership
  • The stakeholder committee meetings that had been held were simply leadership sharing what they were doing
  • It was apparent that the path was already decided upon by leadership
  • How would you like to be involved in this change project?

Participants commented that they wanted to be involved as follows:

  • Providing ideas and thoughts for the restructuring of the organization
  • Being a part of the decision-making process on the change project
  • Collaborating with leadership in committee meetings rather than just listening to what had already been decided

I scheduled a follow up meeting for the following week. The meeting would be a working meeting (lunch would be provided) and would be 3 hours in duration. The goals of the meeting were as follows:

  • Share the results of the survey
  • Gain commitment from the group to stay together
  • Develop a proposal to present to leadership about how to work together on the change initiative

The follow up meeting went well. It was obvious this group was committed to staying on in the committee but were adamant that things needed to change for them to do so. Overall, they felt the initiative being undertaken was a good one for the organization, but felt that the leadership team was not taking the best approach to it and therefore were worried about whether it would be successful.

The proposal to present to leadership included the following:

  • Taking a step back and looking at how the leadership was proposing to restructure the organization and providing feedback on the restructuring
  • Meeting on the initiative every 2 weeks in order to stay engaged and keep the initiative moving forward

I told them this information would be shared in a rolled up summary format with the leadership team at an upcoming leadership meeting. At this time, I would also share the proposal the committee developed in how they might work to support the initiative.

Stay tuned for Part 3 where I will share what we did to get the project back on track and re-engage the stakeholder committee.