Changes within a large company can be a sensitive and resource consuming process. A Store Relationship Management (SRM) platform can be used across all management levels to make process change easier and communication more effective. To help you integrate SRM into your company’s change management processes, here’s how you can create change that works for your company.
Right Management, Inc., a talent and management organization, recently conducted a global study about drivers of engagement and change1. One common theme they found that differentiated successful and unsuccessful companies was how well they communicated an understanding of company roles and expectations.
In the study, they discovered a relationship between effective change management and financial performance. Of the top performing companies, 60 percent of employees felt their company handled change management effectively. In below-average performing companies, only 16 percent said change management was handled effectively. With the results of change management having a strong influence over financial performance, how can companies improve their change management methods AND company’s financial performance?
Of the many factors observed, one of the major contributing factors highlighted in the study was employee engagement. Employees who contributed to discussions, reflected on the impact of change, and offered feedback on decisions that impacted them saw an increase in financial performance. In fact, companies that reported high levels of engagement from their employees achieved significantly better results with a revenue increase of 29 percent, a 50 percent higher customer loyalty rate, and were 44 percent more likely to turn above average profits2.
To achieve these high levels of engagement, effective companies utilized 4 of these top 6 recommended drivers focused on cultivating internal relationship and communication:
- Senior leaders implement effective change
- Efficient work processes and people systems
- Open and honest communication
- Employees empowered to make changes
Engaging employees must occur at more than just the upper management level—it must be realized it all company levels. So what should each level look like during process change?
Senior leaders initiate, guide and champion change, ensuring engagement among the rest of the organization.
To ensure engagement and alignment, senior leaders must encourage input about change and progress from employees. Senior leaders can encourage employee input by:
- Keeping employees informed throughout the change process
- Valuing and acting on ideas
- Following through on actions and modeling appropriate responses to change
Senior leaders should also train middle managers to communicate company goals effectively by developing a common, consistent language that will help the rest of the organization adapt to and embrace change.
Middle managers make change happen with direction from Senior Management.
Working between senior leaders and general staff, middle managers may have the most difficult position as they help senior managers facilitate change and provide staff with support. Middle managers can effectively catalyze between these two roles by:
- Helping staff understand the reasons and objectives for change
- Providing direction and support on how to respond positively to change
- Communicating progress made to senior management
Additionally, senior leaders should equip middle managers with the skills and resources— such as how to better understand typical responses to change – needed to guide their employees through the cycles of change.
Staff members who are impacted by change must learn to grow and adapt.
Active engagement from staff members with the change process is crucial as they are the agents enacting the new policies, methods and expectations. Middle and senior levels of management can help staff members enact change by:
- Providing a means to contribute and influence the change process
- Offering opportunities to provide feedback about progress
- Receiving updates on effectiveness of changes being made
Developing effective communication throughout your organization is key to effective change management. When adopting SRM software, it’s important to consider how SRM can be used at different levels and how the platform can be used to enhance cross-departmental communication.
CoEFFICIENT® an SRM platform, gives middle managers access to real-time store metrics so they can communicate status and action plans quickly between senior and store managers. It also gives store managers greater transparency of corporate goals and how other stores are also implementing strategies effectively. For more information about how CoEFFICIENT can improve communication between every level of management and improve change management processes, download our Case Study. In it, you’ll see how a major automotive OEM used the platform across their company to increase weekend sales reporting rates by 3X.
1. Michael H. et al., “Ready, Get Set… Change!”. Right Management. http://www.rightmanagement.es/es/thought-leadership/research/ready-get-setchange.pdf
2. Izzo, John B. & Withers, P. Values Shift: The New Work Ethic & What it Means for Business. Prentice Hall Canada, 2000. ↩