Implementing your change is only the first step. It’s important to realise that once the new technology or process has been introduced to employees, your job as a change leader isn’t complete. Successful change leaders continue to support their employees after go-live to ensure the change isn’t only introduced but also effectively implemented, producing the expected positive business results.
Learn more about the skills a successful change leader should have - 'Four Skills of a Great Change Manager'
We’ve compiled a few signs which you should be aware of so you know that employees are reacting positively to your change project.
Compliance shouldn’t be confused for engagement. Those who are beginning to come on-board with your change will go beyond the minimum expected from management and change leaders, rather than simply adhering to the change. They will be the early adopters, using all the new features, as well as the last to leave at night.
Asking for help
If you find employees are seeking additional help to come to grips with the newly implemented changes then this should be taken as a positive sign. Rather than complaining about these changes, these employees are willing to spend time to improve their own abilities and adapt to the change. Line managers need to be receptive to this, regularly setting aside time to coach their team in the required new ways of working, whilst also diagnosing any need for targeted re-training in specific aspects.
Making suggestions for improvement
Rather than simply complaining about the new changes being introduced or saying 'I told you so' if teething problems appear, employees who are responding positively to the change will look for ways in which things can be improved. Simply hearing and listening to an employee can raise their desire to actively participate in a change, alongside effective coaching where the employee is encouraged to find the best solution.
Signs of progress
Any newly introduced change is an opportunity for quality of work and productivity to improve. If you are beginning to see signs of progress, both through personal growth and in business KPIs, then your change project is on its way to being taken on-board by everyone within the organisation. Having a baseline of productivity and quality KPIs enables quantification of the improvement benefits.
It’s important to point out that people “getting” the change does not mean that there is an absence of resistance but also realising that not all resistance is completely negative. Instead, you should be looking for a paradigm shift towards constructive resistance (slowing things down to make sure they are ready) rather than obstructive resistance (blocking change without offering a path forward).
In an ideal world, every employee you interact with would show the positive change indicators detailed in this blog. But, unfortunately, it's unlikely that this will be the case. Once you begin to see waves of implementation within the organisation, the rest will eventually follow along with the change. One thing that may help increase the level of uptake is gaining effective change sponsorship. Read our blog 'Developing Change Sponsorship For Effective Change' to learn more.
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