The people power of transformations

What does it take for business transformations to succeed?

A new survey by McKinsey suggests that companies are no better at transforming themselves now than they were 10 years ago.  Not great progress indeed, so what’s to blame?

Most companies seem to have grasped the need for an engaged C-suite of leaders who communicate clearly the planned changes.

But, what seems to be missing is involving frontline employees and their managers in the change effort. Without this change seems to be doomed.  Key to this is communication – and interestingly, although not surprisingly, frontline employees do not perceive the comms they receive to be as effective as their leaders think.  In other words how the comms is landing, how it’s engaging its audience and so how powerful it is in driving engagement with change among this vital group is falling short.

The survey report makes 3 recommendations:

1. Show – don’t tell – progress to the front line

Communicating clearly and creatively in a way that stimulates dialogue around the transformation’s ambition.

2. Involve HR as a strategic partner

HR must position itself strategically at the centre of the transformation, rather than playing a transactional role.

3. Engage employees through new channels

Employ creative, more digital approaches to engaging employees in a transformation. The use of social media, change-management apps or games, and live-feedback tools should support and complement the movement of information from the top to the rest of the organisation, rather than replace traditional methods.

In summary for transformations to succeed, organisations need employee buy-in at all levels, consistent communication, and better people strategies.

You can read more about Woodreed’s successful work with new channels here and change programmes here.

You can read the full McKinsey article here.

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