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“What, Exactly, Do You Want Me to Do?” Factors of Change
Submitted by Derek Irvine on May 10th, 2011
Recognize This: Employees may buy into the need for “change,” but they won’t know how unless you tell them in a way meaningful to them individually.
He told the story of the company president who laid out the perfect story for why a change in the corporate culture was necessary, getting discussion and total buy-in along the way. Everyone was on board. Then a manager asked: “I just need to know one thing: what, exactly, do you want me to do?”
That’s the crux of change management challenges, isn’t it? People may agree the proposed change is good and the right thing to do, but if they don’t know how to contribute to making that change happen, you’re not going to get anywhere.
The same is true here. “What, exactly, do you want me to do?” Getting people to agree to the *VALUE* of a proposed change is not the difficult part. Helping them implement the many big and little steps to make that change a reality — now that’s a challenge. Clearly telling people is certainly the first step. But then positively recognizing people and reinforcing those behaviors, efforts or outcomes is critical to making the change real for every employee.
Like I said previously: Seek out behaviors you desire as foundational to your culture. Praise the people demonstrating those behaviors. Repeat. Often.
How successful have change initiatives been in your company? Did you understand exactly what you needed to do to bring about the desired change?
Do your managers need help in communicating with staff in times of change? Managing employees through significant change can be difficult for your managers and staff alike. How managers and supervisors communicate with staff can make all the difference between a successful and a failed change initiative. Find out how to create a communication plan, deal with employee resistance, get stakeholders on board, and many more vital change management tasks. Download my popular Managing Change in the Workplace guide and workbook. The guide covers every aspect of communicating change and leading a successful change project. As you work through the guide, you will complete a series of practical exercises that will help you plan and manage your change initiative for maximum impact. Find out more about Managing Change in the Workplace and download the free introductory chapter today.