Subscribe to My Feed   Follow Me On Twitter   Join Me On LinkedIn   Friend Me On Facebook

Get Employees Engaged In Change Initiatives

After all, they are doing the work of the business

Do you find your employees just don’t embrace change initiatives within the business? I’d venture to guess it is because they are not involved. Every client I have worked with who has told me that their employees just won’t accept or embrace change has left their employees out of the change initiative and has simply rolled out a new process, a new procedure, new organizational structure, or new technology without engaging the employees from the start.

If you want your employees to embrace change, you must engage them before the change is going to occur. For example, if I am going to change how we get products out to market, I want to learn from the employees what works now and what doesn’t work. What challenges do they have? What do they hear from the customer? I also want to hear from the customer what works and what doesn’t work. Similarly, if I am going to change a process for, let’s say, paying vendor invoices, rather than just jumping in and making changes I want to engage employees who use that process. Often I find that employees already have a better way of getting the work done and are doing it that better way, or have ideas for how to improve it.

Prior to starting your change initiative, share what is going to happen and why with your employees. Let them know that you are looking to change – a process, procedure, implement a new technology, etc. –   and why you are doing so. For example, if you are changing a process to enable for increased efficiencies in responding to customer inquiries and to enable time for employees to focus on other areas, let them know that. When we don’t share information on change initiatives employees make assumptions that we are making a change that will impact them in a negative manner.  All this does is distract from getting the work done.  Share the reason for the change before the change project is undertaken to alleviate concerns and get buy-in and commitment for moving forward.

Remember – employees are more engaged in change when they are a part of it right from the beginning. When they contribute in some way – whether it’s providing input upfront, serving on the team that works on the change initiative, or being involved in testing and providing feedback – they are engaged and embrace the change.