While most change projects focus on structural and process-orientated change strategies, few invest in the human side of change and the potential impact on employee engagement because of it.
Moreover, organisational change negatively impacts commitment. It is not hard to understand the challenges leaders and HR practitioners face managing change successfully.
“In times of change disengaged employees are 36% more likely to stay, while high potentials are 25% more inclined to leave the business”
Even the expectancy of change seems to negatively impact employee engagement and the mere anticipation of change impacted performance and retention more than the actual change.
In other words, expectation of change is more damaging than change itself. This calls for action and attention to talent performance and retention strategies.
Another important focus for change leaders is to maintain awareness of the need to invest in talent development during change.
During pressure to deliver change results, most leaders tend to focus on results rather than coach and develop their teams to manage change as well as contributing to its success. Additionally, talent development investments may be reduced in favour of attending to structural change results.
HR professionals play a crucial role in helping leaders overcome these manager barriers with robust talent development strategies in place.
Leaders coaching talent for development and recognising employees for coping with change will undoubtedly be more successful achieving change goals as well as contributing to building a culture of recognition and development.
“Managing change with people rather than to people is key
for succeeding in change”
For leaders managing change, goal-setting becomes a priority, with a focus on process and structural goals rather than helping employees cope with change. Less than 1% of managers (0.7%) demonstrated both capabilities at the same time. A resounding 99% of managers lacked the combination of demonstrating simultaneously people skills and goal-focus skills.
Helping leaders help their brains to manage both goals and people simultaneously is a key leadership development area, creating an opportunity for human resource practitioners to add value to change projects.
“Less than 1% of leaders have the capacity to focus on the goal
and people’s needs simultaneously.”
Crucial to managing change with employee engagement and retention as the focus is to provide certainty at all times, requiring transparent communication throughout change.
Leaders managing change create additional value to their business by attention to the hidden asset on the balance sheet – the people asset.
By focusing on employees’ journey of coping with change, and continuous efforts made on talent development, the positive impact to a change outcome can be considerable.