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Archive for November 2011

Change Management: 5 Tips for Implementing Change

  • Tuesday, November 15th,2011
  • The best approach to implementing change is identifying your unique approach for each particular situation. Even within organizations it is risky to have a one size fits all approach yet many organizations aim to have one methodology for all situations. Take for example a sales division, this most likely will have a different culture from […]

    The best approach to implementing change is identifying your unique approach for each particular situation. Even within organizations it is risky to have a one size fits all approach yet many organizations aim to have one methodology for all situations.

    Take for example a sales division, this most likely will have a different culture from the IT department just based on the skill set, the type of work and environment in which employees work therefore the best approach is to define specifically what will work within an organization not the organization as a whole.

    Here are 5 tips to get you started.

    1. The first is to understand the business context. This goes almost without saying that you need to understand what the business reason is for the change, what are the business impacts both within the organization and externally and what is the goal and vision for the organization as a result of the changes implemented.

    2. What is the scope of the change, is it a new way of doing business, new technology, new markets, or a new organizational structure? These are just some of the questions you need to ask as the impact will be on employees and other stakeholders and by analysing the impact you will understand begin to understand the scope of your change strategy.

    3. Once you have done this analysis you are ready to identify the best approach to implement the changes. This includes the communication strategy which is nearly always about information, the engagement strategy which is about designing activities aimed at getting the buy-in and support of all levels of employees including the leadership team and then identifying the business measures.

    4. Implement the change strategy for all levels including the leadership team and assess continuously and monitor the success or otherwise of change interventions and alter as the need arises and continue to measure.

    5. Change should be seamless and become part of business as usual activities. Where change processes fail is when they are labelled and treated as something happening over there and separate to the business. Seamless integration into the new way we do business is the most difficult but necessary aspect of managing change so ensure that the engagement activities designed in step 3 are designed to become a new process so that behaviour changes.

    Change management is difficult, stories abound of change strategies that fail, either due to lack of support by the leadership team, the inability to explain in very simple terms that mean something to individuals why the change is occurring and the miscalculation in timing of the change interventions whether they be key messages or engagement strategies. To find out more about how to implement change and engage employees click here.

    Employee Communication – Linking Employees with the Customer Experience

  • Wednesday, November 2nd,2011
  • One of the best ways to create momentum to bring strategy to life is to connect employees with the customer experience. So practically what does this mean and how do you do it? What this means is that you are looking for opportunities that demonstrate the connection between the work that employees do and the […]

    One of the best ways to create momentum to bring strategy to life is to connect employees with the customer experience. So practically what does this mean and how do you do it? What this means is that you are looking for opportunities that demonstrate the connection between the work that employees do and the impact it has directly on the customer – whether that be with an internal or external customer. For more ideas on how to do this click here.

    Today we’ll explore a few case studies that illustrate how this can be implemented regardless of your industry sector.

    Healthcare Sector Case Study:

    The Objective:

    This hospital wanted to cut costs whilst at the same time ensuring that its patients were not adversely affected by the changes. The hospital was also a major provider of healthcare in a small community, so it was essential that its reputation of high-quality care was not reduced.

    The Method:

    The hospital wanted to ensure that its personal care remained at the highest standard. So they sought feedback through focus groups, telephone surveys and directly contacting the carers. Three key attributes in patient care emerged as the main contributors to patient satisfaction. The hospital staff concentrated on improving these three areas while simultaneously reducing costs. Cross-functional teams were then established with employees who volunteered to take part. An employee with strong project management skills was selected to lead each team. They then presented management with a list of options to improve the experience of the patients, with details of costings and timeframes for implementation. Agreement was reached on the changes and the senior management team ensured line managers were not barriers to the implementation.

    The Outcome:

    As a result of the changes implemented, patient satisfaction rose to 98%. This significantly high score contributed to a great lift to employee morale and increased motivation despite the cost-cutting activities. Employees were directly involved in implementing the improvements, and a staff survey indicated greater levels of job satisfaction.

    STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

    STEP 1:

    Identify whether your customer research can indicate top three factors that will have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction.

    STEP 2:

    Involve employees in the implementation of some of these changes.

    STEP 3:

    Measure customer satisfaction and communicate this to employees. It will be an endorsement of their efforts and thus improve staff morale.

    Media Sector Case Study:

    The Objective:

    This media organization was concerned that as it grew, the level of customer satisfaction varied considerably across the businesses. The organisation wanted to dramatically improve its service levels and to become more customer-focused, but they also needed to involve employees in the process.

    The Method:

    The first aspect of the project was to survey employees in focus groups about what they thought the level of service was. The survey highlighted interesting results: most employees felt that red tape hindered customer satisfaction; half the employees commented that excellence in customer service was not recognized; and, a large number of employees felt that managers did not focus on customer satisfaction. The focus group results highlighted the areas for improvement. The first was putting together cross-functional teams to identify opportunities for eliminating red tape and improving customer satisfaction. Then, the employees designed what they felt were appropriate reward and recognition for excellence in customer service. And finally to address the issue of managers not being focussed on customer satisfaction they were integrated into the cross functional teams and had accountability for making them successful. The approach was driven by the CEO and the executive management team. It created a focus around customer satisfaction that permeated every aspect of the customer experience and was the main driver of the organization.

    The Outcome:

    Over 150 ideas on ways to enhance customer satisfaction were received from the cross-functional teams. Nearly all the suggestions were implemented, which reinforced the support the organization had for the project. Continued focus on customer satisfaction reinforced it as the key driver in the organization’s culture.

    STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

    STEP 1:

    Conduct some focus groups and find out what employees think about customer satisfaction levels.

    STEP 2:

    Implement cross-functional teams for employees to address some of the issues raised in the focus groups.

    STEP 3:

    When designing a rewards and recognition programme, give employees the opportunity to indicate what would be a motivator for them.

    Strategic employee communication is so much more than updating intranet sites, organising CEO forums, company blogs and sending out information via email. The true value is in finding ways to engage employees by doing something differently and seeing the direct impact of the decisions and actions that they take at work. For more case studies click here.

    Some of Marcia's Clients

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