A Journey of Engagement Amidst Change
While the recent worldwide pandemic plays out as a major economic influence, keeping our employees engaged and productive is more important and challenging than ever.
According to a Gallup survey* published in the 3rd quarter of 2020, 33 percent of US workers are currently working remotely, with approximately 2/3 of those individuals communicating a desire to continue working from home post-pandemic. Interestingly of those surveyed, over ½ of the US workers are not concerned about the exposure of COVID-19 at work.
What does this mean to our Alaskan business leaders? Something entrepreneurs have known for years, change is here to stay. How we navigate change will influence the engagement of our workforce.
As leaders our best course now is to seek out opportunity to move from (disaster) response to active change management.
First, understanding the effects of change, regardless of solution, is an excellent way to embark in meaningful and solution orientated change. It is important to understand this should not be considered a destination but rather an adoption of a culture of change in itself. One of the best tools we have found is the Kotter model of change, including 8 steps.
THE 8-STEP PROCESS FOR LEADING CHANGE
- Create a sense of urgency
- Build a guiding coalition
- Form a strategic vision and initiatives
- Enlist a volunteer army
- Enable action by removing barriers
- Generate short-term wins
- Sustain acceleration
- Institute change
As leaders we can orchestrate change by providing our workforce clarity of the current environment, engage a core team in developing a plan to align strategic vision with new forming initiatives and then deploy. Specific to the pandemic, this model may be used at the micro and macro level. By engaging our staff incrementally day to day while adjusting to a major event, individuals understand their value and role in bringing their A game. In place of traditional accountability matrices, we provide clear short-term wins both motivating to the employee and focused on excellence.
By developing an intentional change management plan, we engage our team with roles and responsibilities focused on the needs of the business. Either, out of health and safety or desire for a more flexible work-space transitions, decisions of when, how or if employees are allowed to work from home becomes a part of the organization’ overall change plan.
“By engaging our staff incrementally day to day while adjusting to a major event, individuals understand their value and role in bringing their A game. In place of traditional accountability matrices, we provide clear short-term wins both motivating to the employee and focused on excellence.”