5 practical tips for effective (organisational) change

HR/learning in organisations

Most people are creatures of habit. How do you still include them in the dynamics that are needed to further develop your organisation? Read our tips!

The average person does not like change. That is deeply embedded in our genes. In prehistoric times, it was a lot easier to survive in a predictable environment, where you had as little chance as possible of being attacked by dangerous attackers or unexpected natural disasters.

Unfortunately, we can't get away with mere stoppage and predictability today. In today's society, you just have to go along with technological progress and new scientific insights. An organisation and its employees must be as flexible as Barbapapa. If you are not, you are in danger of disappearing into oblivion like a gray mouse.

Many employers struggle with introducing a new organisational structure or a different way of working. You may recognise it. You've purchased a great Learning Management System, but no one signs up. That expensive, super-handy machine is collecting dust in the workplace because no one uses it. Or every meeting about the new function house consists of a long lament filled with misunderstanding. It would almost make you despondent. Take comfort, you are not alone. It's no coincidence that training courses and books are flying over. change management like hot cakes over the counter.

How do you break that resistance and get your employees moving? In this blog, we've listed our top five tips for you.

1. Internal communication that stands like a house

What's not known is not loved. So make sure a warm introduction of your new idea or asset. For example, by making it clear at an early stage why you want or need to make the change. If you tell that goal clearly in language that is understandable to everyone, you lower the acceptance threshold considerably.

Preferably communicate from one central system and use various media: from a paper newsletter to a podcast, from knowledge platform to e-mail. Always use the same logo and a recognisable logo for this specific topic or project tone of voice. It is then easier for people to get used to the message, recognise it and will experience it as familiar at some point.

2. Create internal ambassadors

“They didn't ask me anything” raises a high threshold in advance before the changes will come. Therefore, provide opportunities to contribute ideas and provide ideas. Then the biggest critic can even turn into an internal ambassador.

So actively invite employees to participate in a project group, organise information meetings and open an online suggestion box where proposals and opinions can be dropped. Then, of course, it is the intention that you actually include ideas and questions in the change process.

3. Harness the power of connection

If you want to properly implement the change in the organisation, it is smart to make use of social learning. Connect people in a central location where they can meet online or live, exchange tips and ask questions. By learning from and with colleagues, people become enthusiastic and confident.

Aim a blended learning environment in, where hybrid work and learning can be done. Then you benefit from both the flexibility of online knowledge transfer and the connectivity of personal meetings.

Do you notice that someone has already had positive experiences with a new way of working or organisational structure? Let him or her tell his story. After all, storytelling by a close colleague is very persuasive! If someone has heard from a reliable source that something is fun or offers certain benefits, they are more likely to try something new.

4. Address people personally

Prevent a tsunami of updates that end up directly in the trash because they don't match the reader's or viewer's experiences. Target your messages. Keep in mind that not everyone communicates at the same level, and that not every message is relevant to all employees. So sort your news items by tone of voice, language level and topic per target group. However, always maintain a tone that is as personal as possible, so that people feel addressed.

Are there important news that no one should miss? Then use a simple, clear writing style, or create a clear and engaging video message that you send to everyone. Of course, you can also post these kinds of messages on your intranet or knowledge platform. A push notification or pop-up with a link to the message then draws the necessary attention.

5. Gamification

Gamification helps to convey complicated information or facts that may arouse resistance in a playful and accessible way. For example, create a knowledge quiz, organise an agility tournament with colleagues, or a game where you have to solve riddles about the topic you want to introduce. Because it is fun to learn this way, the employee will be highly motivated to keep reading or keep listening longer.

You can use gamification to explain the backgrounds of the changes, or provide new insight into the benefits and possibilities of a new structure, way of working or product.

But gamification has another advantage: it can also make people aware of their own behavioral patterns or way of thinking. Is it perhaps a fear of the unknown why they are going with their heels in the sand, or does it have to do with previous negative experiences? By shedding new light on this in a playful way, resistance can turn into understanding or curiosity.

Need more practical change management tips?

Feel free to contact us. We are happy to think along with you about communication, knowledge transfer and online solutions. Because that is exactly what we are good at!

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