Most of us like to give advice and make decisions, especially if it's going to involve a change in an organization - be it the strategic direction, the management structure or etc. But whether the change you are about to make is effective or not is another story.
For change to be effective, you need to leverage the basics of human behavior. Use your employees' innate desires to shape change, give advice and make decisions by engaging them (your staff) in planning and implementation. People enjoy being part of changes that they create.
There are many ways to engage staff in change, and every situation will require a different combination of methods. Make sure to use multiple mechanisms since each will provide different opportunities for involvement and different kinds of feedback. Here are six suggestions you can implement:
· Carefully consider the composition of your change implementation team. This group will become your primary implementers. They'll be out front in the organization talking with their peers about the change. Because of this, you should load your team with people who are respected by their peers. Look for the informal leaders in the organization—the ones whom employees naturally seek out for advice, information or support.
· Create an advisory group consisting of influencers in the organization. These employees aren't right for the implementation team because they don't have the right skills or because they're already over-allocated. But they're also ones whom their peers follow and respect. Get the advisory group together to give advice on specific decisions about implementation and approach. You'll benefit from receiving input on key decisions and you'll gain the support of the company's informal leaders.
The caveat with creating an advisory group, of course, is that you have to listen and respond to it. Ignoring advice will do more damage than if you hadn't asked for it in the first place. One way to set yourself up for success with the advisory group is to set expectations early on.
For example, you may commit to the advisory group that you'll give immediate feedback to its ideas in one of three ways:
(1) I agree, we'll do it;
(2) I need more information in order to make a decision on this. Let me get back to you once we have that information; or
(3) That suggestion is helpful, but we can't implement it and here's why.
· Institutionalize periodic, anonymous change surveys. You can use surveys to help gauge how well employees are adopting new behaviors, applying new procedures, integrating change into their daily work or progressing over time. You'll also get hard numbers that show where your initiative is succeeding and where it's falling short.
Crafting survey questions that tease out the information you really need takes time and thought. The best way to proceed is to engage a subject matter expert. You can usually find survey expertise in your company's HR department.
· Conduct periodic pulse groups. Pull employees together in small, cross-functional groups to discuss successes and challenges associated with the corporate initiative. This gives you access to the buzz surrounding your project as well as information you can use to help prioritize next steps. An added benefit is that pulse groups help break down organizational silos by bringing together staff that normally wouldn't interact.
Before you start your groups, however, think about whether you'll need a facilitator. You'll want one if you suspect that people will be reluctant to speak openly, if you'll have difficulty drawing them out, or if you simply want to listen rather than manage a discussion.
· Ask managers to hold periodic feedback sessions. In these sessions, managers bring their direct reports together for frank discussions about what's working and what isn't relative to the change. After giving employees a chance to vent, managers refocus them on problem solving by asking for suggestions on ways to make the change more effective.
Follow up the feedback sessions with a manager meeting in which they identify the themes they heard from employees and give their own feedback. Use these ideas to revise your change plan and tweak your implementation activities.
· Create a process improvement structure if your change initiative is particularly complex. Good structures prevent ideas from falling through the cracks or being adopted haphazardly. An improvement process might look like this:
(1) Employee sends the idea to the review group.
(2) The review group conducts an impact analysis of the idea and decides whether to implement it.
(3) The review group communicates its decision to the employee. For change management "extra credit," publicize adopted ideas to show how you are listening to employees and adapting the initiative to their feedback.
After all, engaging employees now is much easier (and more pleasant) than forcing them to change later on.
Now you should have a sense of what areas need work. With a little focus and effort in these areas, you too can become a change leader ...
REFERENCE : http://www.partneringresources.com/