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Without Collaboration, Your Change Efforts Will Unravel

5 employee engagement tools to empower your change strategy

As a leader of change, you’ll need to energize your employees to perform at their peak. Without enthusiasm for change, your people will quickly become resistant to the change. Whatever business you are in, it is a people business. Winning the hearts and minds of your employees is an essential ingredient to the successful outcome of your change project.

You can’t force change

There’s an old adage that holds true in the 21st century organization: “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink.”

In today’s VUCA market, change is a constant. Yet, you cannot force change on an unaccepting workforce. You can install new systems, but if your employees aren’t fully engaged they will not use these systems to their full potential. The reality will fall short of the expected outcome, and your change project will have failed. Collaboration in change is an essential force for success.

In this article, you’ll learn five employee engagement tools that could transform the collaborative nature of any change initiative.

Effective change is led by effective communication

Through any period of change, people will crave information. They want to know what is happening, why, when, and who will be affected. They will turn to managers for leadership guidance and inspiration. They will discuss what is happening around the water cooler. This thirst for knowledge is the true indication of the thirst to be engaged.

The first rule of engagement is communication. You’ll need to develop strategies to increase collaboration, encourage engagement, and create buy-in. None of this is possible without effective communication.

Employee engagement tools to encourage collaborative change

The workplace has changed. Social attitudes have changed. People want their opinions to be heard and considered. Listening is the most important of the communication abilities. Understanding concerns and overcoming them is only possible when leaders listen. These five employee engagement tools will help you listen, help your employees understand, and enable collaboration.

1.     Employee surveys

Employee surveys measure mood. They tell you how people feel about what is important to you, and they tell you what is important to your employees. These snapshots of employee emotions enable you to tackle issues before they become problematic. And they help you to devise an agenda that resonates with your people.

2.     Gamification

Employing elements of gameplaying in an environment of change can empower employees with greater insight as to the need for and aims of change. It can show people what could be, and provides opportunity for the stepping-stone learning to move them from resistance to collaboration.

3.     Project management tools

Project management tools help people to engage with others and with tasks. They increase a sense of community, improve productivity, and can become the online equivalent of the water cooler.

4.     Video conferencing

Video conferencing tools enable you to pull remote teams together, encouraging greater acceptance of and alignment with diverse points of view. These different views and opinions are a key driver of innovation in today’s diverse marketplace.

5.     21st century communication tools

In our article ‘Communication is the key to engaging employees and leading effective change’, we discussed a three-step process to make your communication more effective. Employ that communication process with the aid of 21st century communication tools. Your employees are used to using social media apps. Move this familiarity into the workplace, and discover ways to employ WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and others to foster better cross-functional communication.

Joining the dots – communication, engagement, and collaboration

Effective change requires a strategy of communication, engagement, and collaboration. The diversity of your employees is matched by the diversity of their preferred communication channels. Yet communication and the need to feel valued and be a part of something are part of the basic makeup of humans.

If you don’t communicate effectively, and if you don’t create engagement and collaboration, your employees will find other ways to meet these basic human needs. The water cooler will become alive with gossip and misinformation. You won’t be listening to your employees, because they won’t be talking to you. Instead of creating collaboration to fuel change, you’ll find resistance to disrupt it.

Take the 21st century view of change. Instead of forcing from the top down, use employee engagement tools to encourage frank and open exchange of views and the collaborative environment needed for change success.

Develop the skills, strategies, and techniques that will drive your organization’s change leadership capabilities. To discover how a Change Agent Bootcamp and coaching in consulting and facilitating will help your organization and leaders produce lasting change, contact Forward Focus today.

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