People Engagement is KEY!
I have been working with a number of different enterprises lately where they are trying to affect a change in their organisation. The employee base sizes range from thirty to eight hundred people and the immediate desired impacts of the change programmes vary but the drivers are pretty much the same. Growth and security. Clarity and direction sharing. Building for a stronger future.
I believe that they will all be successful but it will not be easy. Change programmes take commitment, focus and vision. I have run quite a few and been part of one or two as well over the years. Change can be exciting, invigorating and dynamic. If you perceive it as a good thing. Otherwise it can be seen as disruptive, frightening and upsetting . Or worse still from a business point of view – pointless.
Apathy is the biggest problem from the organisational point of view. Fear, uncertainty and doubt can all be eased, allayed or overcome with a structured programme of communication and engagement, involving your teams in the changes to reassure them and also to make it more of a success for the whole team. Apathy, a disbelief that things will change or even need to, takes a lot more effort to overcome. But ignoring it is not an option. Understanding the cause of the apathy is important as it points to immediate issues that need urgently addressing for the health of the business and the morale of the team. In a vacuum, negativity quickly fills the void.
As an approach, having your strategy clearly set out with a suitable amount of detailed thought whilst at a high enough level to allow the team to feel they can contribute some valuable detail has some merit, staff feeling they can add value to the process is important. Showing belief in the vision and importantly acting on it are vital. All good strategies should be flexible but be aware that too much tinkering can cause the very apathy you wish to avoid- leading to an impression the leadership team are not sure or comitted to the new direction for the business.
And finally, ensuring all senior members of the team and those individuals who have a general respect of their peers and colleagues are engaged will help add credibility to the change initiative.
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