Effective change management always includes reinforcement, but projects often overlook this step, even though it is critical to the long-term success of a change. In reality, your entire change management plan should include reinforcing efforts from the very beginning.
But how do you do this? Your communication plan, sponsor roadmap and coaching plan all directly influence reinforcement at the individual level. The daily work you do with sponsors and managers reinforces messages about why the change is happening, how it impacts employees, and why the change is important. The integration with your project team to understand where the project is, what milestones are coming, and how the project is evolving provides you with opportunities to continually reinforce the value of change management and focus on how projects impact your people.
In addition to the above, there are three essential components in the final phase of change management:
- Collecting and analyzing employee feedback
- Diagnosing gaps and managing resistance to change
- Implementing corrective actions and celebrating success
Let’s talk about the first stage of reinforcing change, collecting and analyzing feedback. Its three steps are:
- Listening to employees and gather feedback
- Auditing compliance with new processes, systems and job roles
- Analyzing the effectiveness of your change management activities
1. Listening to Employees
It is important to follow up with employees to understand how the change is working. Many teams fall into the trap of completing their change management checklist without listening to what employees have to say. The feedback you gather will be helpful in developing corrective actions and post-implementation change management activities.
There are a number of different ways to gather employee feedback. The employee feedback template below is a formal approach based on the Prosci ADKAR Model. If you are not familiar with the ADKAR Model, read the ADKAR Model Overview eBook.
Download the Employee Feedback Template.
2. Auditing Compliance
Changes are successful when they are fully implemented and embraced in an organization. Auditing performance ensures that the change is taking place and that the business is realizing the full benefit of the new improvement.
The way you audit compliance will be very specific to the change you are introducing. The project team can define what these new processes, systems and roles look like and can specify the key metrics that will be measured after implementation. Methods for measuring compliance include:
- Performance reports
- System usage
- How often the “old way of doing things” is still used
3. Analyzing Effectiveness
Simply doing change management activities is not enough. You must evaluate the results of these activities, diagnose gaps, and implement corrective action. When asked what criteria they were using to measure change management effectiveness on their projects, participants in a recent Prosci research study listed:
- Adoption metrics
- Qualitative/feedback metrics
- Employee performance
- Overall project performance
- Readiness assessments
Looking for More?
For more information on how other practitioners are reinforcing change and measuring change management efforts, dive into the Best Practices in Change Management research report. The research includes methods, data sources and timing for measuring results and reinforcing change. Remember that while measuring results is associated with the end of a project life cycle, you can track metrics before the launch and at key milestones throughout the project.