Change, as we all know, bombards us every day. Some of this change is seen as positive and others are viewed as difficult.
The big changes that impact the way work is done should be addressed in a systematic manner. When I facilitate a change management session, I always lead the participants through the model I originally developed while working at BorgWarner.
First the leader describes the vision that requires the change. Then the behaviors that will be needed to accomplish the future vision are defined by the leaders and the employees who will be involved. Some of these future behaviors are already part of the present behaviors employees demonstrate. Others, which I call GAP behaviors, will be new behaviors not required in the past. Training participants in a recent session identified GAP behaviors for their change of telework (working from home) as:
1) Respond to e-mails within a certain timeframe.
2) Be able to utilize the outlook - Google interface.
3) Complete required paperwork efficiently.
4) Engage in a dialogue to create needed communication.
5) Create unique rules and protocols for telework.
6) Be able to evaluate employees who work by telework fairly.
7) Be able to set up conference calls.
8) Communicate well, verbally and nonverbally, during conference calls.
Once the GAP behaviors are identified, the team will discuss the reasons the organization has required the change. I call these reasons WIIFOs (What's In It For the Organization). My clients' WIIFO list included:
1) Decrease in unscheduled leave.
2) Save money.
3) Increase employee morale.
4) Attract and retain new talent.
5) Increase productivity.
They also identified and discussed the benefits to the employees for being successful with the GAP behaviors or WIIFMs (What's In It for Me). The WIIFM list consisted of:
1) Less commuting time and cost.
2) Personal comfort and lower stress.
3) Fewer distractions and higher productivity.
4) Flexibility with personal scheduling.
5) Better work - life balance.
Often these lists have a lot of common items as in this case such as morale and productivity.
The last three elements of the change model are the ethical requirement to provide learning opportunities to gain the GAP skills, the need to give positive and constructive feedback, and the importance of providing appropriate rewards for successfully demonstrating GAP behaviors.
Learning opportunities can be formal training, coaching, computer-based instruction, or assigned reading to mention a few. I offered a template called E-FAB to help leaders and employees in giving respectful feedback. The E stands for the event about which the feedback is given. The F represents how the feedback giver feels about the event. If the feedback is positive, the feelings could be positive like excited or pleased. If the feedback is constructive, the feelings could be concerned or disappointed. The A stands for desired future Actions, whether to maintain positive behaviors or to change them in a specific way. Finally, the B is the business need for the behavioral success.
We discuss various ways to reward employees such as a positive feedback, a thank you, doughnuts, or an internal newsletter article describing the team's success. The best leaders have an organized process for introducing and implementing significant change. This model has been very successful for me and for my clients.
R. Glenn Ray, Ph.D., is the president of RayCom Learning. To learn more about Ray's new book, "Tons of Stone above my head: Coal Mining Stories with Leadership Lessons," call him at (740) 629-4536 or visit his Web site, www.raycomlearning.com. Everyday Leadership appears each Wednesday on the Business page.