We’ve all heard the buzz words- “re-engineering”, “process improvement”, “Six Sigma.” Change is hard- and it takes a lot of work! Today’s business environment demands greater efficiency, innovation and cost control. Companies are challenged to advance quality and set up metrics and measurable goals to track business process improvement. But they often forget a critical component- their people.
Successful leaders blend change management (the “people side of change”) with project management to attain paramount results. It’s critical to clearly outline a framework and roadmap for the change initiative – mapping out who is impacted by the new processes, how their role and responsibilities will change and what behaviors will make them successful. Some key considerations are –
The extent to which you engage employees in the business of change is directly tied to the speed of adoption and ultimately the utilization of new processes. Employees need to buy-in to the leader’s vision of the new way of working and engage to move to the future state. Several companies have found “story telling” to be an effective vehicle for engaging employees and communicating change. Consider posting short video clips of employees sharing their successful transformation. Be deliberate and thoughtful in the way you integrate touch points to reinforce the change after the initial kick-off.
Successful change management depends upon honest, unencumbered dialogue. Organizations change one person at a time and leaders need to be willing to have crucial coaching conversations on multiple levels to keep projects on track. You will need to coach managers to dig deep and move beyond the typical conversations around time, resources and budgets to get to the core issues around changing behavior.
Realign rewards and incentives
Creating sustainable behavior change often requires a change in the way that employees are rewarded. I recently worked with a company that touted “teamwork” but rewarded individual “rock star” performance. They realigned their employee incentive program to weight team performance higher in annual reviews, which yielded the desired result of a collaborative environment.
Project teams often ignore the people side of change as they focus on the technical aspects of their solution. Is your company applying a change management framework to complement project management? What tips do you have for managing the “people side” of change? I look forward to your comments.