How to increase employee engagement and buy-in to change

Change is inevitable and it happens so frequently in businesses. But when it comes to implementing change in the workplace, employees don’t always look upon it so positively.

With fear, habit and uncertainty often getting in the way of implementing change, your plans can often be met with resistance and reduced staff engagement, making it difficult to achieve your vision, lead your team and change your organisation for the better.

There is good news though. You can implement change more effectively and even unite your team in the process. To help you, here are four tips to help you increase employee buy-in and engagement to change.

1. Keep the lines of communication open

When implementing change, it is important to communicate openly with your organisation and your team. Employee engagement and buy-in starts from understanding why the change needs to occur. Is it to cut costs? Is it to streamline processes? Is it to increase productivity?

Once you have discussed the problem, you need to then make sure you communicate why this change is the best solution, and how it will benefit both them personally and the organisation as a whole. Will it make their job easier? Will it provide more opportunities for advancement? Will it reduce paperwork? Will it give them more time on the tasks they love? Will it help our customers?

2. Encourage problem-solving and collaboration

Collaborate with your team; let them help you solve some of the problems. Ask for solutions and feedback. This will help them become a part of the solution and take more ownership of the problem, giving them greater accountability in helping you achieve the goal.

Also consider what incentives or bonuses you can give to the employee, team or department who implements the change the fastest or most effectively.

3. Recognise fears

Change can bring about a lot of uncertainty in an organisation. When roles get shuffled around, new systems are implemented or new team members are hired, it can trigger anxiety in most employees.

Fear of the unknown and a loss in security can cause some team members to be quite adverse to any changes you make and worse case, disengage them. Be mindful of this. Also, remind them how the change will benefit them and the organisation as a whole. Help them understand what part they can play in this change.

4. Lead by example

One of the easiest ways leaders can encourage employees to buy-in to change, is to lead by example. Be the champion of change yourself. If training is needed, do it first and if sacrifices are needed, make them too.

By doing so, you will not only get more employee buy-in you will also create more unity in your team and increase the respect your team has for you.

What tips can you give that have worked for you or your organisation?

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Kylie Denton

Kylie Denton

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