Organizations that are change ready involve and support their employees during organizational change. They are those that plan and have a formal, systematic process for change. They build this into the culture of their organization.
Usually, they have clear leadership who engages employees and other stakeholders to develop a clear vision of desired change outcomes and ensure that an integrated communication, solid change management strategy, as well as strong employee involvement and motivation have the most influence in the overall success of the organization's change.
In addition, such organizations have an awareness of change and the acceptance that change, be it minor, continuous or major is constant. Not only that, they thrive in a community needed for change and they have the teams, resources and capacities to successfully implement and embed change in a seamless manner.
Such organizations have:
• A dedicated and trained change management team and mid-managers with strong ability to execute a change roadmap while engage employees through communication and actions...
20 Effective Ways to Involve and Support Employees During Organizational Change
Effective Ways to
Involve and Support
Organizational Change Implementation
change they help
Want employees to embrace change? Get them involved from the onset!
Let them form part of the change coalition team
Jointly, develop a shared vision, provide the opportunity for employees to question
and explore the change process. This will help to build a customized and structured
change management plan and the best possible ways to make the change
successful. Trust in the innate intelligence, capability, and creativity of employees.
Buy in is easier when organizations include their employees from the onset.
Why is change necessary? What are the outcomes? How will it affect
employees and what are their coping mechanisms?
Engage employees through education on the factors which stimulate planned and
unplanned change. Educate on how to cope and how to utilize the opportunities
change bring. This will allow change to resonate and it will impel them to act.
Employees must be clear about the rewards of new beginnings and how their
What are the skills required by employees to make the change successful?
How can employees gain the skills to help them in the new paradigm?
Invest heavily in training employees during change. Re-train them for the skills of the
future. For an organization to avoid loss of productivity during change, training must be a
top priority. The time and money invested in training will eventually pay off in increased
profits and service quality.
Process and Tasks Related
What are the ‘4Ws and How’ of the change? Communicate - What, Why, Who,
When and How to employees. Build a ‘Change Communication Team’ made up
of nominated employees with great communications skills.
Create and utilize a communication workflow map of how to disseminate
consistent, clear and continuous change communication by the team throughout
the change period. Organizations that communicate effectively during change are
far more likely to implement change successfully and report high levels of
employee engagement during change.
How do you support and steer employees during change?
A complete change management approach must include
employees coaching plan
Coaching involves leaders being available and supportive of employees during
change. Coaching provides the tools needed for employees to cope during
change. Dedicated change coaches are always approachable, good listeners and
are respectful of individual’s rights to privacy.
How do you demonstrate an organization’s understanding of the
transition change cycle that highlights the pattern of feelings and
behaviours that employees typically go through during change?
Organizations must allow employees to move through the transition change
curve at their own pace but with firm support and guidance. William
Bridges says, "A change can work only if the people affected by it can get
through the transition it causes successfully."
Allow Transition Time
How do you reduce the enormous pressure that employees are
placed under during change?
Meeting the demands placed upon employees during change requires managing
job pressure and managing their way through change. Change related concerns
or stress can be reduced in organizations by making an effort to maintain high
morale through various stress bursting activities, actions and events.
Ease Job Pressure
How do Executives in organizations directly and visibly
provide direct support to employees during change?
Appointed Change Executive Sponsors interact with
employees, the project teams and other stakeholders
Sponsors assure employees, they maintain an open door policy, welcome and
support employees, walk the talk and invest time in sponsoring the change.
As an organization, one of your primary responsibilities to your
employees is to have a duty of care which involves being mindful
of their physical, mental and emotional health during change.
As change and transition triggers emotions, well-being almost certainly will be
affected at one stage or another in the transition process. Promote stress
management ideas and offer confidential counselling services to employees.
Ultimately, during change, it's not enough for an organization to
know their proposal, they need to understand where the other
players – employees are coming from
Try to understand employees motivations, which can be respect, advancement or self-
preservation. Whatever it is, organization should listen and show respect for their
concerns and then confirm that the change is indeed worth it. Find ways to involve
employees in aspects of the change that they fear. Change is all about achieving better
results. If successful change means that projects meet their objectives and employees
adopt the new solutions, then negotiate to get employees on the organization’s side.
To implement an organizational change, employees’
understanding and agreement are vital.
A fair and reasonable process must be initiated to gain agreement. If employees
have genuine reasons, arrange to have a solution focused meeting with them. Set
standards and expectations for change. Then, offer agreed incentives to make the
Make sure employees have a precise understanding of their expected
performance standards and help each of them to identify what the “critical”
make or break aspects of their contribution during change will be
Create a common shared vision of what the end point will look like - ‘We will know we have
achieved what we set out to achieve when…’. Help employees to focus on their change
successes and the improvements they have helped to achieve.
There’s power in empowering employees to work towards a
common goal. Include communities within the organization, give
each group a part to play in the change process
Jon Katzenbach and Zia Khan, authors of "Leading outside the Lines" make the important
point that organizational leaders struggle to recognize the importance of the informal
networks within their organization, and the need to engage with them and mobilize them
as a key method of accelerating the efforts of the formal (management) elements of the
Large scale organizational change needs an enablement
plan for employees. This will speed up transition
Resistance to change is a significant source of risk for an organization.
Resistance takes different forms; so design, launch and share an enablement
plan to take care of the risks employees associate with change and help
employees to mitigate the risks.
Never assume that all employees know exactly
where and how to aim their effort for the change
Even if employees don’t ask and seem to be moving confidently in the direction of
change, it’s important to still align their roles to fit the change. Identify
development opportunities; prepare employees for new roles and responsibilities
that the change will bring. This is a very positive activity to do through any change
Organizational reward systems must be altered to support the
change that management wants to implement.
Offer incentives for making change. This often means that the reward does
not have to always be major or costly. It’s a way to celebrate the contributions
of employees, change success and recognize achievement. There is a common
business saying ‘Organizations get what they reward!’. Employees will repel
change when there’s no acknowledgement or anything rewarding.
Acknowledge contributions openly. Thank employees for
journeying with the organization during the transition while
keeping business as usual going.
Create slots and times for employees’ recognition, communicate
their successes openly, widely and show appreciation.
Find and harness the wisdom of employees
The fundamental success of the PD approach depends on getting the
community to define its own problem, develop and use its own information to
discover the scale of the problem and any positive deviants, determine what
the successful practices are in detail, design practical ways of spreading and
sharing these practices, then, disseminate the practices through the
community. Valuing the views of the people who make up any business is
Positive Deviance (PD)
In a central manner, mobilize and use the practice of crafting
and asking employees “unconditional positive questions.”
This will strengthen the organization’s capacity to capture, anticipate, and
heighten positive potentials. This demanding task of involvement will give way
to the speed of imagination and innovation; instead of disapproval,
disparagement, and uncontrolled diagnosis, there will be discovery, dream,
Appreciative Inquiries (AI)
Facilitation will help employees or individuals, to learn, share
ideas, find a solution or reach a consensus about the change.
It is about enabling and making things possible through employee
collaboration and power sharing. Facilitation can be the role of one person in
an organization, or can be shared across the organization with people taking
turns to facilitate change, but the facilitation message must be consistent.
Change Management in organizations: How to Get it Right the First Time by Catherine Adenle
20 Rules of Successful Change Management in Organizations by Catherine Adenle
Supporting Employees Through Organizational Change ‘How to Guide’ by Queensland Health
Ten Ways to Help Employees Adapt to Change by Christine Corelli
Supporting Employees Through Change: The Role of the Manager, Support Guide for Managers
Helping Employees Cope with Change by Lauren Keller Johnson
Build Support for Effective Change by Susan M. Heathfield
Leading Change? 10 Crippling Reasons Why Employees Will Resist by Catherine Adenle
In organizations, dealing with change
successfully is often difficult, but not
changing is far more fatal!