Keeping employees engaged through organizational change is one of the most important functions and responsibilities of executives and managers. As difficult as the overall change process is, the hardest piece is ensuring employees “buy in” and alter their behavior to reach expected outcomes. Announcing the program on Day 1 is easy. It’s Day 2, Day 20 and Day 200 that are much more difficult in maintaining momentum and getting the desired results.
In evaluating employee readiness for successful change, it is important for leaders to ask some core questions:
- Regarding your vision and strategic priorities, what is the level of employee understanding and do they know what it will take to reach success?
- In driving change, are your people fully engaged in the program?
- Are all of your critical employees “on the bus”?
- If not or you’re not sure, do you know what to do about it?
Strategic change communications must be an integral component of the overall change management program with leaders accepting their individual responsibility to communicate business changes and imperatives in a way that motivates employees to do what is necessary for the change to take effect. The change communications continuum – from Awareness to Acceptance, Alignment and ultimately Action – is the process by which traction is gained and the change ROI is realized.