Having great ideas is one thing…getting people motivated to participate in making them real is something else altogether. Owners often know what their employees should be doing, and in fact, may have best practice processes available to them, but what they typically don’t have is employee buy-in and commitment to implementation of those new ideas.
Other companies actually do frequently gain agreement with key staff on their plans and then…nothing happens. This lack of follow-through can stem from many problems–plans are not thoroughly thought through, action steps are not outlined and coordinated across departments, accountability is not defined, milestones are not set, supporting processes are not prepared and trained, and measures are not put in place to know when something was successful. With so many places for implementation to fail, it’s no surprise that many companies do not succeed.
Perhaps the most painful aspect of failed initiatives is not the failure itself but the impact on the attitudes of management and staff. They can become jaded and resigned to efforts in the future and think “we tried that – it didn’t work” when something that the company needs was this right thing, but poorly executed. This is often called the “inoculation effect”, and it requires strong medicine to cure.
Getting people excited about making changes requires enthusiasm, encouragement and a firm belief that the change itself will achieve the desired effect. Leadership must stand strongly behind the idea and be committed themselves to making whatever changes are necessary, including their own perspective on the situation, for change to take hold and last over time.
Good change management involves planning, coaching, mentoring and training as well as regular communication, delivered in measured doses to keep people motivated, participative and accountable. Absent any of these elements, a change initiative will likely fail. But with the right attitude and commitment to the end goal, virtually anything can be achieved.
What we sometimes hear…
- We talk and talk, but nothing gets done.
- I understand the importance of this but why can’t my people get it done?
- We already tried something like that, but it didn’t work.
- Every time I introduce a new method, everybody moans.
- We’ve been doing it this way for years.
- People hate change, so I don’t bother.
- I avoid planning, since no one does what I say anyway.
We help client companies …
- Identify potential change requirements.
- Understand the psychological reasons why change stalls.
- Develop a communication strategy for introducing change.
- Establish best practice strategies for process or system improvement.
- Coach, train and mentor employees through implementation.
- Coach, train and mentor leadership on how to maintain the change.
- Implement systems so that our client’s middle managers can help sustain the change.
If you know it’s time to make some changes in your organization, but you’re not quite sure how to implement in a way that produces lasting change with employee buy-in, perhaps it’s time to consider benchmarking. To set up an Initial Assessment meeting with a Regional Manager in your area, please contact us at email@example.com.