I was speaking with a client recently about their challenges in engaging employees around several very important organizational initiatives. My client, the new CEO, was concerned that not enough was being done by his senior leadership team to drive higher levels of performance. When I asked him what his goal was, he referred to the strategic areas below stating that he wanted to increase customer sales revenue and reduce costs, specifically:
- Faster response time to customer inquiries
- Consistent achievement of committed deliveries to customers
- Reduction in overtime and overhead at each facility
Within each of these strategic areas there were numerous initiatives underway, however the CEO felt that progress was too slow.
Then I asked him a more important question that I ask all of my clients engaged in introducing and managing change… What do these changes look like at the operational levels of the organization?
- What have business unit managers told employees relative to these strategic areas? Have all messages been consistent in their content and delivery?
- How do these priorities align with previous priorities? Has anything that was a focus area in the past been taken off the table?
- What incentives exist for employees to engage in and support these new initiatives?
- How will these initiatives help the employees?
There are other questions we discussed, but these are the most critical points. As you introduce a change it’s important to consider what the change will look like from the employees standpoint. This will help you determine the likely levels of engagement and receptivity. If you want to engage employees in change, you must first start with what the change looks like from their perspective, and then work backwards to determine how to introduce the change.
© Shawn Casemore 2013. All rights reserved.