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Engaging your Workforce: The Key to Successful Change Management

When external change requires you look at the way you work or when you perhaps want to issue new staff terms or benefits, particularly around work life balance.

It is all too easy to go to the relevant manager, HR or expert consultants to draft something as a given top-down policy. You then wonder why you meet unexpected resistance and hostility from your work force.

Tips to ensure your workforce is involved from the start of many if not all initiatives

There is always scope to maximise the engagement of your workforce from the very beginning. This can be done whether you recognise a trade union, you have a staff forum or other engagement process. 

If neither why not use the same steps anyway:

  • Introduce the need or desire to introduce new terms and practices to your workforce and explain quite clearly why this has to happen or why you want it to happen
  • Set up a joint working party to oversee the development and implementation of any policy
  • Agree a set timeline for discussions and outcomes - create a project plan for key changes
  • Include a survey or audit to identify problems or highlight positive benefits
  • If any policy needs to be implemented, which may result in contractual or work related changes - introduce a voluntary trial period (perhaps 3-6 months) and review the results and feedback via the working group
  • Facilitate changes or amendments again through a time limited pilot
  • Ensure the policy is properly communicated to all staff outlining existing rights and options
  • As an appendix - ensure adequate and appropriate training is provided for all those who need to implement the policy - outline that training and continue to review its effectiveness
  • Have a fixed review date at an agreed time to review any working policy and ensure it is fit for purpose
  • Communicate the benefits and opportunities that arise out of any initiative - jointly

These suggestions could work for any major technical change with within your organisation such as Artificial Intelligence or when implementing new polices to promote a better work life balance. 

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