Early-2020 ushered in a period of global change, which continues to impact everything from how we work to the economy at large. Most organizations have accepted, at least in theory, they must adapt or be left behind. Organizations are implementing bigger changes than ever and doing it as fast as possible.
2023 will be a year marked by transformation. Employees will be asked to think in new ways, embrace new technologies and behaviors, and operate in new environments. These changes cause disruption and introduce risks that impact both the employee experience and the organization. Effective change management delivers ROI by reducing risk, enhancing employee engagement and enabling success.
For decades, we’ve heard 70% of change initiatives fail. Companies that struggle to lead through organizational change see the negative impacts in their overall business performance. They also see dips in employee engagement, wellbeing and productivity. A recent WTW study describes current employee perceptions of change effectiveness within their organizations:
This research highlights that change is happening all around us, yet most organizations aren’t getting it right. In fact, most are failing to do the most basic element of effective change management: Equipping leaders with the skills and information they need to lead change.
WTW research has identified a subset of organizations extremely successful at managing large-scale organizational change during times of business transformation. We call these organizations change accelerators.
Change accelerators are companies in WTW’s global employee opinion database whose employees have rated their organization’s "change effectiveness" favorably and have proven financial performance year-over-year. In fact, change accelerators see 264% more revenue growth compared to companies with below-average change effectiveness.
264% Change accelerators see 2.6 times more revenue growth over companies with below-average change effectiveness
Change accelerators share common characteristics in their approach to managing change. They:
In addition to these characteristics, WTW analysis shows these organizations employ five highly effective change levers which sets them apart as accelerators of change:
Show what good looks like and teach people how to do it
Solicit feedback on what is working and what people need, then adapt accordingly
Make it important and do it with employees, not to them
Create an environment that supports the necessary business objectives for change
Deliver engaging, personalized and timely communications
So, what does an organization need to effectively manage change?
With our aligned focus on employees and their experience during times of change, WTW pushed us to deepen our thinking on how we deliver transformation projects of all types and sizes within Microsoft.”Taeler Wilson | Change Management Lead, HR Digital Transformation & Employee Experiences, Microsoft
The momentum for change is ongoing. Organizations need to honestly assess their current approach to change management and consider whether it is resilient enough to manage future impacts. Once the approach is defined and endorsed by executive leadership, organizations should adopt the characteristics of change accelerators and employ the levers to achieve successful organizational transformation.