flevyblog

Flevy Blog is an online business magazine covering Business Strategies, Business Theories, & Business Stories.
MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP STRATEGY, MARKETING, SALES OPERATIONS & SUPPLY CHAIN ORGANIZATION & CHANGE IT/MIS Other

How to Increase Employee Engagement through Change Management

Change management is guiding employees through change to increase engagement and reduce resistance. The process can be challenging for both managers and employees, but it has resulted in higher employee engagement levels and improved performance.

This article will cover strategies for how a company can engage with its employees by managing change.

There are three strategies that a company can use to increase employee engagement and enhance change management:

  • Open communication
  • Psychological safety
  • Increased personal responsibility

Open communication involves sharing information about what is changing and why it is changing with employees.

Psychological safety concerns the idea of employees feeling safe when sharing their opinions openly, without fear of retribution.

Finally, increased personal responsibility includes training managers to lead by example and employees taking ownership over their roles in the changes that occur within the organization.

Here are some tips for using these strategies to increase employee engagement during a time of change.

Ask Questions

Ask employees what questions they have and make sure they understand the reasons behind any changes. Having a clear understanding of why something is changing can help to reduce resistance and increase engagement.

Many employees are willing to embrace change if they understand why something changes. However, they are more likely to resist the change if they do not know why that is, leading to a decrease in morale and productivity.

Create a Personal Connection

When employees feel personally connected to an issue, they are more likely to engage with it, even if it involves change. Therefore, a company could explain how changes will benefit employees from a financial or personal development standpoint.

For example, suppose the organization is changing its health care benefits plan. In that case, it could explain how the new plan will benefit employees from a financial standpoint and a health and wellness perspective.

Explain Why Change Is Needed

Studies have shown that employees are more willing to accept change when they understand that it is being implemented for reasons beyond just “the bottom line.” Employees can become disengaged if they believe that their company is only interested in making money and does not care about its employees.

Employees are more likely to embrace change if they understand that it will benefit the business and themselves personally.

Hold One on Ones

Inform employees about what is changing and why during one on ones with managers. Managers should focus on the benefits of the changes while explaining to them so that employees can see a positive outcome instead of just a negative impact. In addition, it will help managers lead by example and show employees that managers care about the changes.

Don’t Assume

When everyone favors something, it may seem like a change management tactic. However, this is not always the case, and managers should make sure that employees understand why the changes are happening and how they will benefit from them.

By asking questions and providing clarification when needed, managers can increase employee engagement during a time of transition.

Beware of Resistance

Sometimes an expression of agreement through words can be deceptive because someone will say anything to end the meeting (and avoid conflict). It is especially true when asking people to volunteer for extra work — they do not want confrontation, so keep an eye out for signs of resistance even if all the signals show agreement.

Once a business has a clear picture of why change management is needed, it is time to create an action plan that outlines who will be involved and how employees can be engaged throughout the process. The three strategies mentioned earlier in this article are good starting points for engagement: open communication, psychological safety, and increased personal responsibility.

How these strategies look will depend heavily on what type of changes occur within a company or organization. However, here are some general tips that can be customized to fit most scenarios:

  • Create channels of communication through which employees can feel free to voice opinions and ask questions about upcoming changes.
  • Be transparent and honest. Employees appreciate honesty and transparency over false promises and poor excuses.
  • Lead by example — if an employer asks employees to volunteer for extra work, they should be willing to do the same themselves.
  • Keep the lines of communication open at all times; no good deed goes unpunished (i.e., don’t wait until it is too late).
  • Be timely in responses; this shows respect for other people’s time and feelings.
  • If possible, try not to stick people with more work than they feel comfortable performing.

Conclusion

Changing an organization can be difficult because people naturally resist change. However, it doesn’t have to be as painful as employees fear it if effective strategies and techniques are used. By following these steps for increasing employee engagement through changes made at the organizational level, it is possible to ensure that this transition period goes smoothly.

About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.




Complimentary Business Training Guides


Many companies develop robust strategies, but struggle with operationalizing their strategies into implementable steps. This presentation from flevy introduces 12 powerful business frameworks spanning both Strategy Development and Strategy Execution. [Learn more]   This 48-page whitepaper, authored by consultancy Envisioning, provides the frameworks, tools, and insights needed to manage serious Change—under the backdrop of the business lifecycle. These lifecycle stages are each marked by distinct attributes, challenges, and behaviors. [Learn more]
We've developed a very comprehensive collection of Strategy & Transformation PowerPoint templates for you to use in your own business presentations, spanning topics from Growth Strategy to Brand Development to Innovation to Customer Experience to Strategic Management. [Learn more]   We have compiled a collection of 10 Lean Six Sigma templates (Excel) and Operational Excellence guides (PowerPoint) by a multitude of LSS experts. These tools cover topics including 8 Disciplines (8D), 5 Why's, 7 Wastes, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and DMAIC. [Learn more]
Recent Articles by Corporate Function

  

  

  

  

  


The Flevy Business Blog (https://flevy.com/blog) is a leading source of information on business strategies, business theories, and business stories. Most of our articles are authored by management consultants and industry executives with over 20 years of experience.

Flevy (https://flevy.com) is the marketplace for business best practices, such as management frameworks, presentation templates, and financial models. Our best practice documents are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier consulting firms (like McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte) and used by Fortune 100 organizations. Learn more about Flevy here.


Connect with Flevy:

   
  


About Flevy.com   /   Terms   /   Privacy Policy
© 2022. Flevy LLC. All Rights Reserved.