You can’t change process without changing people…
Post 2: Megan was more confident when she placed her second call to her mentor, Juanita, the next afternoon. She had taken time to identify the ‘talking leaders’ on her team, and she felt better prepared to identify and address the reasons for resistance she might face when announcing the upcoming company changes. Juanita had more ‘change management’ lessons to share.
She advised Megan to ask some key questions about the change the next time she was with her boss or in a meeting about the transformation project:
“You need to fill your toolbox with all the reasons your leaders give for making this adjustment. And if there are any reasons driven by your customers’ needs or requests, those are often the most persuasive reasons for your employees to accept the changes. Also capture any drivers that are beyond the control of your leadership: like obvious regulatory, technology or economic drivers.
“While examining those reasons, envision the results of the transition and what could happen if they fail to change:
Bullet all the results that – once implemented – will make the world better: view it from the customer’s perspective and from your employees’ productivity perspective, and also explore if your employees will experience advantages when the company benefits.
Also collect any negative realities that would result if the company does NOT make this change. Again examine the customer and productivity effects along with how company failures would eventually impact employees.
“You will want to ask questions to understand the strategy the executives are creating to implement the transformation. Of course there will be many changes to the tactics, but you will at least need confidence that there is a plan and know what you are allowed to say to your employees about that plan.”
Megan was already on it. “I think I have lots of those answers already. Can you tell me how I’ll use this information?”
“Sure. You can use this information to create consistent communication during the months it will take to actually adopt this big change.” Juanita explained. “You will continue framing communication that keeps your people focused on the target and that minimizes resistance.
In your messaging, continually fine-tune the VISION for the desired future the change will bring. Also, your employees will need to be DISSATISFIED with what will happen if the transition isn’t successful or if they don’t individually apply new procedures. Similar to your standard focus on performance goals, during the change-journey, your team should be confident of their part in the PROCESS that will help to reach the envisioned new world.
I’ve learned that, if these three realities outweigh the RESISTANCE my employees feel, I’ve tipped the scale. Tipping the scale means lowering the resistance my team has for any request; but during change that’s especially tough. Now, tell me what questions you have about this idea.”
“Can you give me an example from real life… like with my family?” Megan asked.
Juanita smiled, “Okay, so this is one I used last weekend when my kids had been ‘cleaning’ for over 30 minutes.“
‘If you finish, your grandma will be so proud when she sees your room (desired vision), and if you finish in the next 15 minutes, we’ll have time for a swim before she comes (dissatisfaction with staying in their room). All you have left is getting the blocks and dirty clothes in their baskets and making your beds (process).’” After Megan ran a few work scenarios past her, Juanita was convinced that she understood the concept.
“One last thing I’d like to share is about the attitude you display when you actually make the announcement. It can be powerful. But take a few days to collect the information we discussed and to draft ideas for your messaging. How about if we plan to have coffee early next week?”
Reality: The implementation of change always results in reduced productivity. To help minimize the loss, ensure your communication strategy diminishes resistance, prepares employees for the transformation and lessens the natural fear connected with change.
FOLLOW US & don’t miss the next PEPPERBOX blog: How can Megan avoid frightening her team when she announces the organization’s transition plans?