InsightsBusinessCreating Employee Buy-in

Creating Employee Buy-in

One of the major things we help our manufacturing clients with is change management. Change is a constant in today’s industrial enterprise, with manufacturers evermore focused on improved efficiencies, reduction of waste and automation of certain processes. Often change is incremental – or evolutionary – over time.  However, when marketplace dynamics or organizational needs dictate, change can be revolutionary: dramatic and disruptive. 

Navigating change successfully can largely rest on your ability to secure employee buy-in along the way.  In a recent SMB Group study, 27% of leaders cited their team’s resistance to change as a top challenge in business transformation. Understanding the seven most common reasons people object to change is the first step in planning your growth strategy: 

    1. If staff do not understand why things are changing, you can expect resistance – especially from those who strongly believe the current way of doing things is working just fine. Start the buy-in process by explaining the need for change. If employees can understand the rationale, risks and opportunities, they’re more likely to engage.   
    2. One of the most common reasons for resistance is fear of the unknown, and some employees worry that any type of change will eventually cost them their jobs. Speak honestly with employees about how the company envisions its future and what role employees play in that future. Share what employees can expect through the process and what the intended outcome will be.  
    3. Sometimes change in organizations necessitates a change in skill set, and some people may fear they can’t make the transition. Share with your team what is required of them and make sure to offer the necessary training to employees for any new technologies being implemented.  
  • When there is a low trust factor, and people don’t believe they or the company can competently manage the change, there will be resistance. Be clear in your intentions and communications.  Avoid elaborate rhetoric or empty promises. Stand behind decisions and repeat core messages.  Establish accountability and lead by example.         
  • When employees are not consulted in the decision-making process, especially if those decisions directly affect their jobs, people will feel both uninformed and disconnected to changes being implemented. Solicit buy-in before implementation. Inviting employees to actively participate in the change process will increase the likelihood that employees will accept the changes being made because they will feel personal ownership.  
    1. Poor communication is the biggest area of complaint during the change process, so when it comes to change management, there is no such thing as too much communication.  Start with content that resonates and connects with employees, answering their most cared-about questions.  Be consistent and authentic in your messaging – and be sure to set up 2-way dialogs that enable a robust feedback loop.   
  • When the benefits and rewards are not seen as adequate compared to the effort involved, employees will not embrace change. Figuring out individual motivation strategies is ideal.  It’s important to share the vision and route of change, but equally important to communicate the personal return on investment for each employee, so they see how the change will benefit them.  It’s also important to break the initiative down into discrete phases or steps, complete with interim goals, making sure to measure and celebrate progress along the way.  

If you’re ready to learn more about how to manage change with strategic employee engagement methods and communication plans, contact Sprout! We’ll help you take your next steps on the way to transformative change, securing your team’s critical buy-in along the way. 

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