A change management survey is an essential tool in the change manager’s toolbox.
Effective use of surveys can improve project results, improve project efficiency, and much more.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What a change management survey does
- Why they matter
- 10 ways to use surveys during change projects
To start with let’s put the change management survey into context.
What a Change Management Survey Is
A change management survey is simply a survey used during the change management process.
They are vital tools for change managers, because they:
- Help collect feedback from employees
- Offer insight into various organizational metrics and employee metrics
- Improve communication between change managers and other relevant parties
To name just a few examples.
Why Surveys Are Important
Surveys fuel big benefits, such as:
- Better insight and foresight improves decision-making
- Improved agility improves the ability to respond to input in real-time
- Understanding what works and what doesn’t helps managers make the right adjustments
- Knowing employee needs helps managers design projects that are more relevant, targeted, and useful
- The right information helps overcome barriers to organizational change
To name a few.
The specific purpose of each survey, of course, will depend on why, when, and how it is implemented.
When to Use Surveys in Change Management
Surveys can be used periodically during a project:
- At the outset. Initial surveys are typically used for assessment. They help managers design surveys so that they are more relevant and useful.
- During the project. Surveys used during a project can help gauge project health, discover weaknesses, identify opportunities, get new ideas, and much more.
- After project completion. Finally, it is important to understand how a project performed. What worked well? What didn’t? This information can help improve projects down the line.
Now, let’s look at the many ways surveys can be applied during a change project.
10 Ways to Use Change Management Surveys
Regardless of the nature of the project, these feedback tools are very valuable.
They offer immediately relevant input that help streamline the change process, whether you are adopting new software, implementing new procedures, or implementing any other type of change.
Here are just a few examples of specific information you can glean from properly implemented surveys:
- Profiling the target audience. Change projects can impact a variety of end users – employees, customers, business partners, and so on. A change management survey can help you understand that target audience, their needs, and their goals. This information, in turn, can help you design a better change project.
- Assessing change readiness. Change readiness refers to an organization’s willingness and capability to change. Do they have the tools, the skills, the desire, and the ability to change? What is required to improve readiness?
- Assessing potential change impacts. Change will inevitably have some impact on an organization and stakeholders. Assessing the potential impacts is an early, necessary step in the change management workflow. The right information can help managers mitigate risk and minimize negative impacts.
- Assessing digital literacy. Digital literacy is a fundamental baseline skill in today’s corporate workforce. Technology adoption questionnaires are crucial for many of today’s most common change projects – digital transformation, digital adoption, IT modernization, and other digital changes.
- Assessing organizational digital maturity. Digital maturity is similar to digital literacy. But this concept applies to the entire organization, not just individuals. This is another assessment crucial for any digitizing organization … which includes virtually every company in today’s digitizing marketplace.
- Understanding organizational culture. Change management surveys can also be used to understand the corporate culture and climate. These can include characteristics such as: the corporate vision, values, competitiveness, how social the workers are, alignment with the corporate mission, and many other things.
- Designing a communications plan. Understanding workers is essential for designing any communication strategy. Their needs, their values, and similar characteristics can help you meet them at their level. This, in turn, can help you design projects that are more relevant to them – which will then become more successful in the long run.
- Designing onboarding and training plans. Onboarding and training are essential phases for many change projects. Surveys can provide critical information for training managers and project managers who design training programs.
- Evaluate the effectiveness or status of a plan. Data and feedback are two vital sources of information for any change project. Surveys can help you gauge employee perceptions, measure KPIs or other key metrics, adjust goals, and more.
- Evaluate the project post-completion. After the project is complete, it is important to collect a final round of feedback and data. This will be compiled with other information to provide a top-down picture of a project, inside and out.
This list includes many, but not all, ways to improve change projects through surveys.
For more information on change management surveys, feel free to browse the rest of our change management blog.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.