There is a reason that 70% of all change projects fail. Normally it is because change is rolled out like this:

  1. The management group have a strategy day to discuss the future of the organisation, normally without obtaining feedback from employees
  2. The management group comes back and informs organisation about said change all the while employees have started the treadmill of rumours
  3. Employees are asked and are expected to embrace and implement changes in culture and behaviour

To ensure employee engagement and involvement in the change process, you have to enable and engage people to be a part of the change. Allowing everyone a voice is important to as well as an ability to feedback their fears, thoughts and concerns. And, remember that employees go through the change curve or transformation curve slower than the management group.

Organisations built on a traditional business model tend to have communication channels that aren’t optimal and limited ways of transmitting information through the company. What we normally say is that it’s always ok with more information, and, in an organisation that goes through major change, it’s almost impossible to communicate too much.

3 ways to engage people through the change curve

  1. Listen. Actively listen. Do not listen to reply. Listen to understand and get all information, also what they are not saying so that you can get a sense of where they’re at
  2. Communicate. More than you think is necessary, get their feedback. Ask staff what they think and feel about the changes. Amend as necessary.
  3. Involve your people. Allow the most engaged to become change ambassadors to drive the change from the bottom up and inside out.