Organizational improvement initiatives are hard work.
Accelerating at breakneck speeds these days, change is a constant that’s demanding faster and more frequent tactical shifts. Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin who lured children to follow the spellbinding notes of his magical flute, HR professionals lead the charges. They make transformative magic happen by facilitating the human side of organizational change.
Fear and resistance are an instinctual human response to the unknown. Change, by its very nature, is threatening. In the workplace new technologies; internal system upgrades; mergers, acquisitions and integration; process adjustments; and restructuring can discombobulate employees and productivity.
Wisdom and experience teach that employee engagement helps ease the transition. “When employees are fully engaged and ‘aware’ of what part they play in the overall strategy,’ says business psychologist, April Scott Read, “rolling out a change initiative tends to be smoother because they understand how this change and their role tie into the bigger picture.”
Change management agents facilitate acceptance of and commitment to organizational improvements by:
- Crafting and communicating messages about what’s taking place, why change is happening and what it will look like for employees and the organization
- Making sure the CEO and senior leadership team are fully invested champions of change
- Working to cascade details so employees understand their role and are fully on board
- Creating accountability by monitoring results
- Conducting change management action planning workshops for leaders and employees across all parts of the organization to provide input
- Dispelling any illusions about the impact and success of change using pulse surveys
- Reporting findings to convey the valued importance of employee feedback
As Charles Darwin the modern day pied piper of evolutionary studies once observed, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”