To accelerate business transformation in 2019, put employees first

To accelerate business transformation in 2019, put employees first

Gagen MacDonald had the privilege of sponsoring The Conference Board’s change communications seminar on December 11-12 in New York City.

In our pre-seminar survey, just 39 percent of attendees said their organizations are effective at inspiring employees in our era of ongoing transformation. These executives came eager to learn how to energize a diverse workforce amid constant disruption.

What we heard—through several retrospective case studies, live examples and an interactive exercise involving over 60 participants—reinforced a central theme: putting employees first improves engagement and excitement for change.

Wherever your company stands today in its transformation journey, here are several key seminar learnings that all change-makers should consider as they prepare for 2019:

  • Crystalize your change story and help employees see themselves in it. Exceptional corporate stories touch employees’ emotions, build their beliefs and inspire them to think and behave differently. When a story is compelling, employees feel aligned with—and driven by—a larger purpose and see meaning in their work. They are not only more engaged and inspired in their day-to-day jobs, but more likely to take setbacks in stride, readily adapt to changes, and commit to a long-term vision.
  • Leverage employees to co-create new possibilities. Harnessing employees’ creativity is an excellent way to connect and empower them to drive change. Ensure there are plenty of opportunities for frontline workers to share stories, ask questions and provide feedback.
  • Deliver transparent communications through new employee-communication channels. Increasingly, organizations have either dismantled and rebuilt communication channels or are exploring new modes for communicating. As broad, fundamental changes in technology and individual behavior are mandating new ways of working, it’s vital for companies to adapt and create innovative strategies that reach all employees.
  • Equip leaders to empower employees. Trusted, resilient and agile managers are the linchpin to helping employees pull through the change cycle. Equipping these leaders with the training, tools and information they need prepares them for ongoing team conversations and stacks the odds in favor of successful change outcomes.
  • Humanize the employee experiences. Employees need to experience first-hand the most important parts of your change story. Shaping an intentional roadmap of employee experiences with well-defined success metrics leads to personal insights and strategic actions on an individual level.

The mandate to C-suite leaders in 2019 is clear: rally your employees and evolve your culture to fuel perpetual reinvention. Achieving this requires transformational leadership and the ability to evaluate all experiences from the employee’s view, not just from the organization’s perspective.

To learn more about unleashing the potential of your corporate transformation, download our complimentary Three Things that Change Everything™ eBook.