A few weeks ago, I introduced three topics to help leaders better understand how to lead change. This week we’ll talk about how to effectively advocate for your change and engage your organization in the process.
As a leader, you are busy. Board meetings. Stakeholder meetings. Analyst meetings. There is so much to do. Yet you are in the middle of a large transformational change and you sense you need to do more to help your organization.
You are effective in advocating for the change. You talk frequently about the Why, What and How of the transformation (see March 30, 2017, blog post). This is a great step. Don’t underestimate the power of this – employees want to hear from their leader, especially during times of change.
To engage your employee base so they become the ultimate owners and drivers of the change throughout the organization you might want to consider a few of the following ideas:
1. Develop a change agent network. This is a group of employees tasked with advocating and explaining the change at the lowest levels of the organization. Meet with them regularly to exchange information about progress, and obtain feedback. Incorporate the feedback as appropriate into the program.
2. Hold town hall meetings. Develop regular employee forums where they can interface directly with you, ask questions about the change, and receive feedback about progress.
3. Hold focused meetings or lunches with a few employees at a time. Learn about concerns, dispel rumors (or confirm them as appropriate), and ask for input. Use feedback to shape the program.
4. Conduct surveys and heed results. Conduct readiness assessments to obtain confidential feedback about the program. Also, use these tools to shape your message. Use the results to modify direction, redirect resources, or make other adjustments as feasible and necessary.
These are the methods I’ve seen employed most frequently to help employees embrace change and drive it to greater success. There are others. Regardless, the underlying principles with these are to speak candidly, advocate your position, genuinely seek and apply feedback, and engage employees to help design, implement and institutionalize the change.
Dedicated to your profitable transformation,