“Employees want to co-pilot your change management efforts, not take a backseat.”
That’s the key takeaway from a November 2022 Gartner study that suggests that companies need to move toward a more co-creation-based approach to organizational change with their employees instead of a top-down approach. In other words, companies must actively engage their employees in change initiatives while keeping them at the center of the change because employees get the most affected by and during any transition.
If employees are onboard with the change their organization is undergoing, the adoption rate will be higher. Companies and leaders must involve employees in decision-making and engage them in two-way conversations throughout the change management process.
Leaders who perceive change as necessary do better at managing it than others who shy away from it. These change-positive leaders are transformational. They embrace and envision change, communicate it, and make the entire process more engaging and transparent.
What are the characteristics of change-positive leaders?
- They strive to improve existing processes and motivate employees to perform better.
- They back their people and give them the tools they need to be successful.
- They support and encourage training and cater to employees’ needs.
- They focus mainly on aligning individual-organizational goals and meeting those goals.
- They provide the intellectual stimulation necessary to accomplish the goals.
- They use inspirational motivation and empower employees to carry out change.
- They use the concept of meritocracy instead of democracy, where the best idea always wins.
Employee performance and happiness improve, and change adoption increases, when change-positive leaders show individual care and get their people involved. And due to the vast number of modifications during and following the pandemic, where entire industries were disrupted, the role of the change-positive leader has become more important than ever.
Prosci’s ‘Top Contributors to Change Success in a Post-Pandemic World’ research supports this idea. During organizational change, selecting the best project sponsor is crucial. Change-positive, transformative leaders in this role will always be ideal since they involve others and delegate implementation planning to staff. The future of organizational change management (OCM) lies in them. Some organizations have even created a Chief Transformation Officer position to handle organizational change in the best way possible.
Transformative leaders’ activities match Prosci’s change success variables. Only leaders at the forefront can do this. They become the catalyst for change, and employees feel empowered to do the same. The effects of the shift are visible after implementation, but involving employees from the beginning makes the entire process more transparent and smoother.
How do we help drive successful organization change?
At Bristlecone, we understand the criticality of the change-positive leader and the need to shift toward an ‘open-source’ approach to managing change. We help customers realize their business value by supporting the organization in technological and cultural transformations, getting people involved and excited about the change, and ensuring minimal disruptions.
We support leaders and their delegates in conceptualizing and building strategies for driving organizational change. Our change management team coaches leaders to drive change, with engagements focused on making them successful today – and prepared for tomorrow.