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Employee Commitment to Change

Some people are more naturally open to change, while others are more entrenched in their routines and resistant to new things. Either way, the secret to bringing about meaningful change is allowing your employees to be actively involved in creating their transformation.

Employee Commitment to Change

By Susan M. Heathfield

A new manager asked me recently how she should go about getting her staff to “buy into” some changes she wants to make in the operation of their department. I asked her whether she wanted to spend the time on the front end necessary for earning staff commitment to the changes. Alternatively, I told her that she could spend her time policing the changes on the back end. Indeed, if staff members reacted too unfavorably, she might even have her ideas sabotaged and / or an open position or two to fill. At the minimum, her staff would experience a lack of motivation and feelings of disgruntlement.

She chose the first path, but not all managers do. You need to recognize that if you want whole-hearted commitment to any change, you must involve staff members. The employees who will be expected to implement the change, must be involved in the creation of the change. That doesn’t mean they set the goal, but they must be significantly involved in the definition and the details.

If you want to foster employee commitment to change, the employees must be involved in designing the changes, implementing the changes, and evaluating the effectiveness of the changes. Employees will never whole-heartedly support a change they were not involved in creating.

Source: About.com: Human Resources