Change with Ease: Getting Employees to Not Only Embrace Change but Ask For It!
By Kay Graham-Gilbert
Is it difficult to get some team members to make changes?
Is the success of a new initiative in jeopardy due to reluctant
It is no revelation that not
everyone welcomes change, particularly when it requires that they perform their
job differently. However, for an organization to run at optimum effectiveness,
the efforts of everyone are required. In fact that is a key element to top
organizational performance -- everyone working in concert. Not
merely everyone knowing the goals of the organization, what is expected of
them, and how to do their job, but performing with ease. What else is
necessary to master the change that results from process improvement programs,
technology initiatives, mergers/acquisitions etc.?
Look at change management from
three vantage points: (1) managing the people involved in making the change a
reality, (2) managing the change itself, and (3) managing the results. Of
course, they all work together, but require different attention.
people involved in making the change a reality.
This is the most difficult part of
change management because you are dealing with different personalities, individual
motivations, cross-functional groups, multiple authority levels and groups etc.
Trying to get everyone's buy-in at the time of initiating a change or even
while developing the modifications is not easy. Truly successful change
management is born from developing an environment where change is the
norm. An environment that nurtures and welcomes fresh ideas and
eagerness to be the best. Downplay the “change” and emphasize the
benefits. Many initiatives are doomed
to failure at the outset because of all the fanfare surrounding the project. If
change becomes second nature there is no need to motivate employees with
elaborate project kick-offs and introductions.
Keeping on top of implementing a
change can consume much of your time. You may be distracted while dealing with
the “people side” of change, but it should not sway you from the task at hand.
Not being diligent in the proper execution of the project will alter the
The key components to managing the
change itself are not normal project management tasks such as written plans,
schedules, resource allocation -- all
of which are essential. The leading drivers to successful change are:
Flexibility The willingness and ability to make
alterations to the plan. As you progress through an implementation, you
continue to learn and need to be able to make adjustments.
Resourceful The ability to obtain and juggle the information,
people, tools and supplies required for the change to be successful.
Thoroughness Going the distance and not taking shortcuts.
Ignore pressures to speed the process or eliminate steps, when it is not wise
to do so.
Diligence Staying on track and not being sidetracked by reluctant
participants, inter-department conflicts, minor setbacks and all other issues
that are likely to arise.
Managing the results
Now that you have successfully gotten everyone on board and the change
has been initiated, it is now time to move on to the next improvement.
Not so fast! You should always have your eye open to the next opportunity
for enhancement. Most likely ideas were generated during the current
change, but remember you are not looking for short-term improvements. You
want to ensure you get the most from each improvement.Here are some
questions to continually ask to ensure the correct results are obtained:
What have we done about the obstacles we encountered? Did we
implement a short-term fix or is there more work to be done?
Have the outcomes been consistent?
Do all necessary personnel understand the purpose of
Have we shared what we have learned about the task at
hand, the people involved, the success of the strategy, timing issues etc.?
Have the "pluses" from this effort been
leveraged to other areas in the organization?
these 3 areas diligently will result in employees initiating change not trying
to dodge change. The first step is to stop using the word “change” and focus on
the positive aspects of the initiative specific to individual employees and
departments. As a leader in the organization, your job will become much easier
and effective once you have achieved success in these areas.
Copyright © 2004, Kay Graham-Gilbert
Kay Graham-Gilbert has extensive experience in
creating effective operations. Receive your Free report on
business growth strategies at http://www.interactiveconsultingusa.com/report1.e