Effective engagement of employees combined with effective benchmarking is critical to the success of the organizational change. Although scholars and practitioners articulated variety of drivers for successful employee engagement in the change process, tactics that facilitate (a) establishing sense of ownership and personal accountability for the change through personal involvement, (b) imparting vision, sense of urgency and challenge, (c) as well as encouraging feedback and communication are vital for the success of organizational change.
Analysis of Tactics for Engagement of Employees in the Change Process
Sense of Ownership and Personal Accountability
Current research shows the need for tactics that facilitate personal involvement of employees in the change process and empower personnel to participate in the change via incentives, opportunities for growth, developing stronger organizational citizenship behavior, and releasing people’s potential (Mento, Jones, & Dirndorfer, 2002; Fernandez & Rainey, 2006; Markos & Sridevi, 2010). Mento’s et al. (2002) study of different change frameworks indicated that every model articulated staff participation as a necessary element of the effective transformation. Furthermore, Fairbairn (2005) argues that participation in carrying out the change initiatives instills a sense of personal accountability for company’s success. Fernandez and Rainey (2006) claim that participation of employees facilitates building of internal support and overcoming resistance to change. Additionally, employee engagement establishes sense of psychological ownership of an organization that enhances employee’s cooperation.
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Vision, Sense of Urgency, and Challenge
Tactics that impart vision and sense of urgency and challenge increase the rate and effectiveness of employee participation, as well. Fernandez and Rainey (2006) emphasize that clear vision motivates the staff to achieve the change. Authors claim that tactics whereby senior management imparts to its employees the sense of strong external challenge, crisis, and shock serve to overcome resistance to change, send a message to employees that the upcoming change is in their interests, and play the role of strong predictors of an active employee participation. Beaman and Guy (2005) claim that the lack of understanding the need the urgency of change may lead to the demise of change initiatives. Fernandez and Rainey (2006) note that some of the most successful organizational changes take place when the leadership “manufactures crises” (p.170) to maximize the staff cooperation.
Feedback and Communication
The organizational climate where participants of the change and those affected by it can provide their feedback and communicated their concerns and ideas creates the environment where the change is more likely to be accepted and adopted (Mento, Jones, & Dirndorfer, 2002; Fairbairn, 2005; Markos & Sridevi, 2010). Tactics that incorporate strong feedback system and two-way communication make use of these agents as a way of empowering employees and providing avenues for involvement in the process of organizational change. The tactic of encouraging feedback and communication will help managers employ persuasion, flexible approach to change, psychological support, bargaining and compromise, rewards, and guarantees against personal loss, in order to help employees to be accepting of the change and pursue the change objectives (Fernandez & Rainey, 2006).
Benchmarks in the Change Process
The benchmarking of a change management is the tool that helps improve the process of managing organizational change. In the context of change, benchmarking can be used to apply best practices, create a spirit of competition, and affect improvements. Ettorchi-Tardy, Levif, and Michel (2012) identify staff involvement and performance monitoring as conditions for successful benchmarking. Thus, employees’ participation is essential not only for successful change within an organization, but for benchmarking, as well.
Freytag and Hollensen (2001) argue that benchmarking is not a one time initiative, but it can be used during entire change management process. Benchmarks can be best used for evaluating organizational functions, units, and performance. Moreover, managers can use benchmarking to identify performance gaps and ways of learning of better practices and implement changes (Freytag & Hollensen, 2001). Lastly, managers can employ benchmarking for evaluating effectiveness of change within the organization, in comparison with other organizations, and as a measure of achieving key success indicators.
Analysis of change management tactics indicates that the effective engagement of employees affected by the organizational change combined with effective benchmarking is critical for implementing successful organizational change. Among the variety of drivers for successful employee engagement in the change process, tactics that facilitate establishing the sense of ownership and personal accountability for the change through personal involvement, as well as impart vision, sense of urgency, and challenge and encourage feedback and communication are critical for the success of organizational change.
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