We live in a time of continuous change: digitization, reorganisation and ever changing work environments are daily business. So how can we not just try to keep up with external changes, but instead control change in accordance with our individual company culture?
Humans are beings of habit, and therefore generally sceptical when it comes to change. This means that the introduction of many topics, like a new software or the implementation of a new value culture, cannot simply be carried out and done with. It is true that with the constant advancement of technologies and new work trends, many of us often feel like we need to implement and do everything right now and as fast as possible. If we don’t, won’t we be out of date by tomorrow already?
However, this path will rather lead to chaos and frustration than to success. To achieve sustainable and targeted change processes, three aspects are most essential:
- Time management
- Continuous engagement
1. Real change takes time
The classic model of unfreeze-change-freeze is barely applicable to real life. Change is a continuous process that takes time. Not only do employees need to get used to changes, you as the ‘initiator’ of change need time to choose the right measures. Because even changes have to be changed and modified. This means: budget some time to try things out and to be able to make mistakes. Here, of course, a transparent communication with everyone involved is essential in order to avoid frustration.
2. Find the right perspective
Not all changes apply everywhere and are right for everyone. The important questions here are: What is changing in the big picture, for the whole company? And what is changing specifically in my area?
Everyone has to deal with continuous changes, but these changes are different everywhere: whether at a retail store, a marketing agency or a call center; whether in a regional, national or international company.
To find the right perspective for the individual levels of an organisation, it’s also important to keep in mind that next to the company culture, you always have subcultures as well. Different areas and departments operate in different circumstances: the IT department needs a different focus that the department for customer support. Don’t underestimate subcultures, but take efforts to support each one according to their needs and circumstances.
3. Continuous engagement
One of the most important issues for successful change is engagement and inclusion. This means engaging employees as well as managers. From top executives to interns, everyone needs to be included and get the chance to impact the processes. This is the strongest medicine against scepticism and fear of change. Engaging everyone involved does not only help to receive the necessary support – often it is also the only way to discover problem areas that are in need of change.
To discover weaknesses and receive support from employees and managers, the key is asking the right questions. These questions are what teambay is all about: using the teambay online platform, managers can send questions to their employees in regular cycles and receive timely feedback on general and specific issues in their company. This way existing circumstances can be analysed and change processes can be supported and guided in the right direction. To meet the requirements and issues of the different subcultures in the company, teambay provides features for benchmarking and sending specific questions to single departments. Roland Droste, Head of Employer Branding, Recruiting und Talent Management at Arvato Bertelsmann, describes his experience with the tool: “What we like most about teambay is that we can recognize and remove emerging obstacles right at the beginning. The collective intelligence of the employee feedback has already improved our processes and procedures significantly.” Arvato implemented teambay successfully in the company’s call center before using it also in other departments. This is good example of how a change process can be implemented and tested step by step. After all, if a time of transformation is not a time of trying things out, when is?