Avoiding the Commitment Dip

Firms use thousands of dollars and work hours to make change initiatives a success—and then the bottom falls out. Or in this case, employee commitment to the change drops off, and all signs point to failure.

Richard Lepsinger, a human resources consultant and co-author of Flexible Leadership: Creating Value by Balancing Multiple Challenges and Choices, provides six tips for keeping employee support high following a change:

Be forthright about the change and its impact. Open and honest communication makes change easier, so keep executives accessible to respond to employee questions and concerns.

Model behaviors that support the change. Lead by example so employees do not see both old and new sets of rules and behaviors, thus diminishing the credibility and importance of the change.

Don’t put your plan on auto pilot. Unanticipated problems and opportunities will undoubtedly arise after the change is in place, so expect to revise objectives and be ready to promptly communicate them to employees.

Set realistic objectives and milestones. Don’t set employees up for failure; as they reach attainable goals, they’re more likely to see the benefits of the change.

Don’t underestimate the resources required. Provide adequate resources for employees to complete both their regular jobs and their new duties associated with the change implementation.

Maintain enthusiasm and excitement. Continuously communicate the benefits to employees for the duration of the initiative (not just at kickoff) and offer a reward system for reaching objectives.

Source: OnPoint Consulting, www.onpointconsultingllc.com .


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