Is your company ready for change?

Shawnee Love   •  
February 17, 2011

When I work with my clients, it inevitably means change of some kind for the company. Even if the change is arguably going to be positive, e.g., new training, new products, new initiatives, etc., as I have said before, change is hard. It is hard to make changes, and it is even harder to make changes stick. You probably see that every time you send an employee to a training course and within a month they are back to their old habits again.

I try to prep my clients for ensuring the changes stick by working with them on the five points I talked about last week. Here are some practical examples:

  1. Leadership: The management and leadership (and other influential employees) talk about the changes and why they are important every chance they get and they are demonstrating what the new world order looks and feels like. They repeat the message every meeting, every email, and every conversation.
  2. Employee Buy In: Leadership has communicated the purpose for the change and the employees get it and are practicing it every day even when it is harder to do it the new way.
  3. Rewards & recognition: Leaders catch employees behaving in accordance with the change and recognize it by saying thanks and giving rewards that encourage and motivate further progress. Hello pizza lunch & public praise.
  4. Tools & training: The leaders have reduced workload enough that employees can learn the new ways of working and practice them till they stick. They have also arranged for training so everyone has a common language and understanding of how to do the job.
  5. Structure, systems & processes: The leaders have taken the time to review the structure, systems and processes and ensure they are re-designed to efficiently and effectively support and enable the changes.

As you can see, change starts and finishes with the leaders in the organization. At least you know where to look for answers if your changes don’t stick.