Let’s get motivated for change!!!

17 May

How do I motivate myself? Under what conditions am I willing to work hard? Is it just for a good grade or for myself? Do I work hard to impress the professor? Or am I concerned about what my future job will be? Do I want to earn a lot of money? What makes me move personally? And what’s about change? Am I able to adapt to personal changes as well as changes concerning my business environment?
These are all questions that I’ve been asking myself and my friends recently. It’s not always easy to deal with changing condition; be it a new professor that demands a lot from you or a new living situation. Life always changes, and we frequently need to adapt to it. Finding our personal motivation to deal with changes can be applied to our professional motivation as well.

So let’s transfer the personal adaptation troubles to a higher level:
Change Management within a company!
Change Management has become one of the most important initiatives in our highly competitive global business world.
Although change seems to be a constant companion within modern businesses, is does not necessarily mean that it is easy to implement and adapt to it. Mike Ryan explains in his blog post why it is likely for change initiatives to fail. To him, new strategies or projects fail not because of poor planning but because managers may do not provide the affected employees with enough personal motivation. Mike Ryan names three factors HR management needs to consider for their employee recognition and reward systems that support the desired changes:

  1. ensure adaptation through communicating of change plans
  2. have management and individual goals linked
  3. include enforceable measurement

Moreover, he complains that management often doesn’t make a big effort to bring their employees personal motivation into the communication plan. His recommendation are customized communication plans that formulate personal ideas and goals from the employee’s perspective. Thus employees connect to it as well as accomplish the desired changes.

Connecting manager and individual goals:

How will this change affect our employees? What are the benefits for our employees? These are two of a bunch of necessary questions change agents need to ask according to Mark Ryan and Daniel Antion.

Mark Ryan suggest that HR management should be involved to answer these questions. He advises HR managers to meet up with the top managers of a company in order to rephrase high-level changes to personal requirements that employees need to understand and adapt.

Furthermore, he claims that a firm’s ability to change is a competitive advantage. HR management can support the speed of the change by using a firm’s recognition program to help employees adapt to it.

How employees get involved

Mark Ryan affirms that reward budgets can be used to provide a better and faster adaptation to a new project. Socializing the change is a key factor, he names, to eliminate any resistance.

Why is it important to engage employees anyway?

Robert Bullock introduces this problematic in his blog.
He wonders about how employees feel when change happens without them to be engaged. This may contribute to less motivation or even the beginning of a counter-productive behavior.
Engaging employees to changes can have a great impact of outcomes, such as:

  • better individual productivity
  • organizational performance,
  • job satisfaction
  • motivation
  • reduced turnover

If change needs to be implemented rapidly Robert Bullock suggests the following solution:

Pulse Surveys

A Pulse Survey provides a few questions aiming to get improvement ideas from employees. However, he reminds us that if a company is already asking for your employees’ opinions, management does a great job showing some actual results.

Possible questions may be:

  • “What is it that you want to improve about our company?”
  • “In your opinion, what are the main demands of our customers?”

This could be a possible evaluation chart for your evaluated survey:


Finally Robert Bullock assures that this survey might be one of the easiest ways to encourage employee involvement, because they feel that their opinion counts and will have an impact on the development of their company.
So as people like to give advice and express their opinion in their personal environment, they also like being engaged in their working environment. Yet, it is not about declaring that Change Management needs employee involvement, but about asking: “How can a company get their employees engaged to change initiatives?”


2 Responses to “Let’s get motivated for change!!!”

  1. sabrinacz May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Hey Rose! I really like how you emphasize the importance of employee involvement in change management. I totally agree with you, that change implementation in a business is closely linked with the cooperation between managers and their employees. It is also a good idea to reward employees for faster change. Everyone has to find their personal motives in to change their private lifes, that´s true, however often it is difficult to mobilize yourself to change something. All in all, your post points out interesting and essential aspects of change management.
    When I read about change management, I also thought that it is closely connected to the principles of the “Open knowledge economy” and “Learning economy”, because without life long learning and increasing knowledge, innovation cannot take place and therefore change is not possible. Do you agree? What do you think about the connection between these issues?

  2. Rick Maurer May 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    Rose – I’ll add something that I’ve found to be critically important: why before how. Too often leaders fail to explain why a change is needed. Forget about what the change itself will be, address the unasked question on people’s minds, Ask why do we need to change now? This critical step is often skimmed by. It is not enough to just show a few slides. There must be a feedback loop so that the leaders know that people truly get what a change is need. As John Kotter suggests, they feel “a sense of urgency.” – Rick

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