Individual change drives all changes within an organization – without positive employee experiences, top-down plans will face significant barriers.
Those barriers can include:
- Employee and manager resistance
- Lack of motivation, confidence, or morale
- Skills deficits
Such “people problems” can become major hurdles in any change program.
And, in some cases, they can be insurmountable.
But they don’t have to be.
In this article, we’ll explore how employee experiences:
- Lower resistance
- Increase employee productivity and engagement
- Boost results for change initiatives
Most importantly, we’ll explain how to craft great experiences.
Real Change Starts with Individual Change
There’s a reason why change frameworks put humans at the center of their models – humans drive change.
Employees run organizations.
Without them, no change project could succeed.
Would-be change managers run into difficulties when they forget this and try to force change onto workers.
One common result of this approach: employee resistance.
Preventing this obstacle is straightforward – improve the employee experience.
The first step in this direction is understanding what needs to be fixed.
Are Your Employee Experiences Up to Par?
Many of today’s organizations aren’t delivering when it comes to the employee experience.
And research demonstrates that employees want better workplace experiences.
Udemy’s 2018 Employee Experience Report found that:
- 88% of their survey respondents valued emotional intelligence in leaders
- But 60% felt their managers needed more manager training
- 51% of Millenials were more likely to have quit because of a bad manager, versus 43% of older workers
- 79% of respondents believed that onboarding training would accelerate time to productivity
- Almost half of workers (47%) suffer from burnout
These data points illustrate how the workplace experience impacts:
Among other things.
These issues point to potential problems – and solutions – which we will discuss below.
Analyzing, understanding, and improving your own company’s workplace experience takes research, time, and effort.
But the payoff is worth it – improved individual change, more successful organizational change, and happier employees.
7 Ways to Improve the Individual Employee Experience
From HR transformation to digital transformation, every change project impacts the workplace experience.
And change initiatives present an opportunity to enhance that experience.
Those enhancements, in turn, will further fuel individual change and organizational change.
Here are 7 ways to help drive individual change by improving the employee experience:
Make employee experiences a top priority for your change programs.
Employee and workplace experience should become a central focus.
When designing your change program, start by analyzing your current state.
Then identify areas that could use improvement and incorporate them into your change project.
Neutralize the causes of fatigue and burnout.
As we saw from the Udemy study, 47% of workers have experienced burnout.
This is all the more reason to uproot and neutralize the causes of this fatigue.
Every organization is different, but one good way to address this issue is by improving the workplace experience – not over-emphasizing productivity.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
In the Udemy survey, 72% of survey respondents felt their coworkers needed communication training.
This statistic is subjective, and may not indicate that 72% of workers actually do need training.
However, it does underscore the importance of communication.
Facilitate communication by setting an example, establishing communication mechanisms, and building a culture of communication.
Put individual interests at the center of your change frameworks.
An individual’s self-interest dictates how he or she acts and behaves.
This means a person will support change projects that support his or her own interests.
Change programs that help fuel a person’s career growth, for instance, will garner more support than those that detract from a person’s career potential.
Develop a sophisticated onboarding funnel.
Onboarding should be more than a welcome email and a 2-hour office tour.
It should consist of several things: orientation, opportunities for socialization, training, and two-way dialogue.
The better the onboarding experience, the more engaged and productive they will be.
Design adaptive, modern training programs.
Training has come a long way in the past few years.
Thanks to technology, workplace training is driven by a mix of online and offline education.
Creating digital training plans can greatly improve training experiences, decreasing disengagement and improving competency.
To further enable and drive individual change, create personalized programs for employees.
For instance, you can offer personalized career advice, training pathways, and mentorship programs.
Systems such as these can greatly benefit employees.
And because employees are self-interested, they will be further incentivized to support the organization.
Without individual change, organizational change cannot take place.
For that reason, change practitioners should do all they can to improve the employee experience.
As we have seen, better employee experiences neutralize obstacles, improve the workplace, and increase productivity.
Here, we have covered seven good ways to improve the employee experience.
However, they should just serve as a starting point.
For more ideas on improving the workplace experience, search our blog for other articles about change management, HR, and the employee experience.
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.