When we enact business change it is because we want to see a transformation of how work is done, through changing actions, behaviors and even values. All changes require people in the organization to change to some degree and creating engagement helps drives commitment to the new way of working. But too often the link between the vision of the business change and the people who make up the organization is lost.
The missing link between corporate imperatives and local needs
The challenge that many organizations have difficulty in overcoming is bridging the link between corporate intent and local implementation, especially in large, global, changes.
Too often the corporate imperative to change, be it strategic or financial, does not translate into a reason to change that teams on the ground feel connected to. Couple this with a lack of engagement of middle and front line managers, those who have the most impact on local teams, and creating engagement through the workforce is almost impossible.
How one client overcame the gap and successfully implemented a key business change
One multinational financial client of ours had a challenge of rolling out a global HR system. With reach of over 73 countries, this client needed to implement a change that would impact 250,000 employees. It was a high profile and strategically important project to support the global workforce.
Based on internal surveys, the change leaders of this ambitious project had found that in the past the company had relied too much on top-down communications and external change consultants, and not enough on a structured change management approach and engagement of employees.
To overcome past mistakes, an end-to-end view of the change was needed, and the change management approach needed to be flexible while still allowing for global and local needs.
The main project sponsor identified that the project needed to be managed using internal teams around the globe supported by consistent language, training, tools and coaching. He believed that this would lead to much higher levels of employee engagement and user adoption.
Specific actions to create engagement at all levels of the organization
Using Changefirst’s PCI methodology and tools, our client established a dedicated change management workstream within the project. Supported by our training, a global and local network of change managers was developed. In addition, over 400 local change champions were coached and supported in taking global plans and tailoring them to the local environment.
Change leadership was being addressed at the corporate and local levels.
To create engagement around the project, assessments were carried out to identify gaps in the organization’s change management capability, allowing the project to identify specific areas to target and improve upon. Some of the engagement actions included:
- Giving stakeholders the space to build their own commitment to the new system, through using the system they became advocates not just in words but also in actions.
- Increasing sponsorship and tracking sponsorship behavior.
- Encouraging people to engage openly in the change process.
Overall the results of the project were positive, with even the trickiest employee groups, who were expected to be resistors, becoming engaged and advocates for the change.
The side effect for our client, through this project they built up their internal change management capability ready to be leveraged for future business changes, without the need for external support.
Creating engagement by using a structured change management methodology
This is just one example of how a client used a holistic change management approach to bridge the gap between corporate and local in order to create engagement and drive success. It is an approach that works for many organizations, and many different types of changes:
- Use analytics to identify what is working well, and where the gaps are. Analytical tools include communication assessment, sponsor assessment, legacy assessment.
- Create engaged leadership: train local change agents and local management with the skills needed to be effective change leaders. Increase the local capability to drive change with role-based on demand learning.
- Tailor corporate plans to the local level, understand the impact and imperative for the teams on the ground.
- Use virtual tools to track workstream progress, sponsor actions and engagement levels across the whole organization.
- Use a broad communications approach, and avoid the over-use of top down email communication.
- Create engagement through local level involvement.
Read more about how to effectively engage during business change in our white paper on effectively engaging people within your organization.
Increase employee engagement with a digital solution
If your organization is looking to use a structured approach to increase employee engagement, you might be interested in Roadmap Pro.
It is a digital change management solution that provides a proven approach to change implementation that is easy to learn and adopt, is scalable, standardized and cost-effective.