How to Improve Change Adoption With Change Projects
Driving organizational change is no easy task, even for the most experienced leaders. While change initiatives sound great in the boardroom, they often break down during actual implementation, largely because employees are typically “passengers” with no say in planning or executing change that has major implications for them. So it’s unsurprising that they’re not enthusiastic, or even “change resistant.”
But there’s a way to overcome this resistance while also implementing change more efficiently, boosting productivity and innovation, and outpacing competitors — tap into the power of change projects. In this blog, we’ll take you through what they are, how they facilitate agile organizational change, and how to implement them in your organization.
What is a Change Project?
A change project is an internal project tied to a specific business goal within a broader change initiative. Employees from different departments pool their expertise and collaborate to achieve a common business goal. These projects are voluntary, requiring a few hours per week in addition to an employee’s regular responsibilities.
Change projects can range from small initiatives like redesigning policies to large-scale transformations like introducing automation. To implement complex changes, you may require several projects.
Examples of Change Projects
Let’s say your organization is overhauling its technology and processes as part of a digital transformation to ultimately improve customer experience. Your change projects could include optimizing your internal processes through Value Stream Mapping, planning an employee-led training program for a new digital tool, or developing a new customer engagement strategy by assessing customer data and touchpoints. You get the picture.
On Volonte’s change management platform, you can help employees easily apply to change projects through the Project Board. Plus, our Agility Engine will recommend projects to your employees based on their skills and interests.
With change projects, you transform employees into essential contributors who get to actively shape changes that’ll impact them extensively. As a result, you’ll see increased change adoption rates, greater productivity, and more innovative solutions.
Benefits of Change Projects
1. Boost change adoption and employee engagement
Employee resistance is the greatest hurdle senior leaders face in change implementations. Change projects create a sense of ownership and engagement among employees, leading to greater acceptance and adoption of the change. By involving employees in co-creating solutions, change projects ensure that the resulting strategies are more effective since they take employee needs into account.
2. Transform employees into advocates of your change
The sense of ownership cultivated through change projects motivates employees to advocate for the change among their peers. Overall, this means greater change success since employees feel more like agents of change and less like its subjects.
3. Outpace competitors and conquer disruption
Change projects enable you to “swarm” business challenges by quickly allocating your employees to initiatives that are critical for tackling key business challenges, so you move faster. This makes your organization more responsive to sudden unforeseen shifts – like aligning with new market demands or needing to adopt new processes – giving you an advantage over your competitors.
4. Increase collaboration and innovation
The composition of a typical team will have employees from different departments coming together for a particular change project. The creation of a cross-functional team builds a different and more creative work environment. As a result, they are likely to view problems from multiple angles incorporating diverse expertise, and the solutions you get are more innovative and effective.
5. Build change readiness
By working on these projects, employees gain hands-on experience handling change. The skills they gain during this process makes them better equipped to tackle any other changes your organization faces. As you build change readiness, any future initiatives you undertake have a greater chance of adoption as well.
How to Involve Employees in Change Projects
To get employees involved in implementing change through projects, here’s what you can do:
- Identify change projects and develop a detailed brief: This should cover the goals of the project, expected timeline, number of employees required, and skill sets needed. Also give relevant information such as the number of hours per week employees are required to spend on the project, what they can expect to learn, and how to apply.
- Incentivize application to change projects: Answer the “what’s in it for me” question for employees: are there any rewards or incentives? What career opportunities within your organization open up for them?
- Recruit employees across departments: Widely publicize your change projects. Ensure your team is truly cross-functional, with all key stakeholders represented from across departments and different seniority levels.
- Keep an eye on implementation metrics: Since change projects are voluntary undertakings, it’s easy for them to get sidelined. You need a leader who’s responsible for the success of your project and keeping track of pre-defined performance metrics.
- Take advantage of Volonte: Instead of reinventing the wheel, let Volonte’s enterprise change management solution do all the work for you. Our platform comes with everything you need to boost change adoption, from publishing and driving applications to change projects to streamlining and tracking implementations, and cultivating change-ready employee mindsets.
Learn more about how Volonte helps you streamline change implementations and boost adoption.