Effective enterprise change isn’t easy. There are many things you need to be successful: the right technology, the right processes, and, most importantly, the right people and the right culture. According to Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps, “Before you are ready to deploy a scientific approach to improving performance, you must first understand and develop your culture.” A culture that embraces change must start at the top and reach the entire organization with pervasive messaging around goals, the greater good and a delineation of how everyone contributes.
So how do you improve employee engagement from the top down? People are much more likely to accept and get behind change if they know where the change is heading, why it’s being made and how they contribute to getting there. Although constant change is inevitable, it’s still important to sell people on the idea of the change because ultimately people’s reactions and attitudes are what will make the difference between success and failure. According to McKinsey, the most successful transformations are ones in which employees at all levels are involved in the effort. Communication, visibility and the clear definition of roles increase success rates by 25%.
Your team needs to believe in the value of the change, in their own ability to contribute to achieving it, and in their ability to adapt to new challenges as changes are made. Many enterprise changes are not as successful as they could be because the people working on them don’t know the greater good of what they are doing and how it contributes to business enablement. Understanding your place in a change and how your actions can have an impact will hugely change your attitude about change, so it’s important that people feel they are a part of a journey, not that it is something they’re being subjected to. Therefore, consistently and repetitively articulating your vision and the story of where the change will be taking your company is essential.
Communicating this face-to-face won’t always be possible, especially in a large company, but you need to be able to consistently articulate it to those who report to you and be sure that they can do the same. Fortunately, technology is a great enabler for not only articulating the overall vision of the change, but an individual’s place within it. It can enable people to self-serve change within the context of a consistent wider vision to drive faster and more effective change. As in any learning experience, the more you can provide visualizations and metrics the more effective the communication.
How can Cutover help you get the best out of your people?
Enterprise visibility and transparency are key to getting people involved and invested in enterprise change. Cutover’s work observability provides a view of planned change that allows everyone in the enterprise to see how each release or resilience event relates to a bigger business goal. This provides people with the data and metrics they need to visualize, predict and prepare for change.
This visibility also provides transparency and accountability. Everyone can see their place in the change, and leaders can clearly see who is responsible for each change, providing them the opportunity to personally thank those who have done well when this would not have previously been possible. Everybody likes to be thanked, and greater accountability gives people more pride in their work and understanding of why it is important.
By linking technology release with business outcomes, everybody can see how their actions contribute to the greater good, making it easier to embrace change because they understand its purpose. Cutover’s Enterprise Change Management allows you to start with vision - the overall business enablement goal - and then work backwards to add all the individual releases and events that contribute to that final goal.
Ken Dummitt has ten years’ experience working in business continuity followed by ten years running a $300 million software company. He is responsible for leading sales, marketing, client success and account management at Cutover.