3 Critical Change Management Steps

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Changing your culture is never an easy task. Your culture is the way it is because of the way the organization is. So if you are trying to change it, you are going to have challenges – especially if you forget these three essential steps.

  1. Incenting the behavior you want to see
  2. Considering the Employee Experience
  3. Remembering your people need your support

Inc.com has an excellent article by Shawn Murphy listing 10 common mistakes that you should avoid when building your culture. I agree with them all. These are the same kinds of mistakes we see in our implementations all the time.

So yes, to the best of your ability avoid those mistakes. Furthermore, here are three more essential steps you must remember to embrace, particularly when you are trying to change your culture to be more Customer-centric:

Incenting the Behavior You Want to See

If your company has always been sales oriented, most of your compensation packages build on metrics centered around sales performance. The problem is sales-based comp plans focus on the organization, not the Customer. When I am advising clients on how to improve the customer experience, the subject of measurement always comes up. They ask how they can change the culture. I answer this with a question to them. I say ‘if you were to change everybody’s compensation in the company to be 100% focused on achievement of your customer satisfaction goals do you think this will change the way that people would work?” Of course the answer is yes. And this proves the point. People do what they’re measured on, and even more so what they are paid upon.

When you are trying to change your culture to improve the Customer focus, you must also have a metric that measures how those efforts are progressing. For many organizations, this metric is the Net Promoter Score, but you can get creative here.

Consider also the Employee Experience

The employee experience is critical to building a culture. Just like Murphy says in his article, people are motivated by purpose and working alongside people they like (numbers 2 and 10 on his list). Both of these concepts are crucial in the overall Employee Experience that, like your Customer Experience, is based on emotions. Your Customers don’t turn off their emotions when they become Customers. Neither do your employees turn off their emotions when they get to work. Be sure to consider how the changes you are making to become more Customer-focused result in positive emotional moments for your employees.

Remember your people need your support

Have you ever had a boss for which you would move mountains? Walk over hot coals? Come in on your day off? If you have, you know it’s because you know your boss cares for you as a person. When you needed their support, you had it. You trusted each other to do your jobs and you knew where you stood with him or her. Your team need you to be that person now. You need to support the efforts for change and promote a firm yet understanding attitude to affect the change you want to see. When you undertake a change project, like changing your culture to be more Customer-focused, you will have challenges. There are many ways you can make mistakes; do your best to avoid them. But also, by embracing these three steps, you can build a foundation for change that will be successful and rewarding for everyone involved.

What would you add to my list? I’d be interested to hear what you have to say in the comments below.

Published On: 26th Feb 2016 - Last modified: 6th Feb 2019
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