Making Change Management Work

January 15, 2015

By Sholem Prasow, Insight Management

At the 2014 Agile Workplace Conference sponsored by AgilQuest, many excellent speakers addressed ways in which to make Change Management succeed. In the discussion workshop that I was part of, we came up with the following summary:

Three Reasons Why Activity-Based Workplace Implementations Usually Don't Achieve Widespread Acceptance – And How to Fix That

Reason Number 3. The employee does not see a personal benefit from the change.

He often sees a personal loss for him – the loss of an office conveying status plus he may experience that loss as a fear that he is less needed.

He hears a lot about how the change benefits the company – which he is supposed to feel good about supporting – but often not enough about how the change benefits HIM.

The change management process should focus first and foremost on the benefits to the employee – ranging from collaborative tools to help him do his job faster and better -- and be MORE needed -- to personal benefits – a Telework allowance, for example, for people who work at home.

A formal employee handbook about how to optimize work in an ABS environment would be a great help as well.

Reason Number 2. The manager is not trained either in how to support the employee through the change. Nor is he trained in managing employees who are not within his line of sight any more.

Often the manager is ignored in the process of making the change. Rather than being a trusted advocate, instead he is a silent bystander.

The manager needs both types of training as described above – before the employees – and he should participate in that training.

Here too, a formal manager's handbook about how to optimize work in an ABS environment would he great help as well.

Reason Number 1. The C Suite does not see ABW execution as a Wildly Important Goal, and does not demonstrate by its own activities that it is important.

Most program champions stop at getting executive "support" or "buy-in". All employees are skilled in figuring out what is truly important to senior management – by what senior management says, does, and how they act. The C-Suite needs training in how to behave – and what to say.

Here too, a formal CEO's handbook about how to lead in an ABW environment would help!

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