How do you take previously apathetic employees and transform them into Change Agents?
Wow, that seems like a ton of work for something that you can only hope would be effective. Yet you know that you can’t sustain that for too long. The energy will drain out and it will become another flash in the pan. And that leads to distrust and a whole host of issues we would all rather not see.
What you need to do MUST be much more simple. It can’t drain management’s energy or pull them from what they are already busy doing.
What makes this effort more simple and more effective? It is this (and it almost seems too simple to be true)…
Give them information. The right kind of information. Targeted, specific information.
How does that transform employees into Change Agents? All you need is to push over the first domino and let it work from there. With this information, you are setting in motion a series of events that happen naturally and are not forced.
Here’s how it works with an example.
I spoke with a VP of a company last week who said he was tired of training employees only to have them quit. In essence, he felt like their company was the training program for their competitor!
Instead of going the traditional route, try a different approach.
Domino #1: Get feedback from your employees.
“Do you plan on working here in two years?” YES/NO
“I am allowed to try and fail without fear of retribution.” YES/NO
“I frequently receive recognition for my work.” YES/NO
“Our company has the right amount of policies and rules.” YES/NO
Whatever your focus is on why you think they are leaving, start asking for feedback!
If you do this once, they often times won’t take you seriously and won’t give you the REAL answers you are looking for. Instead, they will be surface level answers but won’t get to the heart of the problem. But ask consistently and they will realize you are serious and will start giving serious feedback.
Domino #2: Give the data to your employees
If you use viaPing, that happens automatically. If not, this is a domino you will need to do manually.
Can this be a bit scary? Yes. It opens up the core of your culture and exposes it. If you want to really work on the heart of your culture, for example, you need to do open heart surgery. There is no getting around it.
Domino #3: They talk.
Give them information like that and employees talk. It happens today — all the time — but with information you wish they wouldn’t talk about because usually it is rumors or jaded attitudes. If you give them correct information they will start talking about it.
Domino #4: Ideas are discovered.
When discussions happen, questions arise. “Why is it like that?” “Is it really that bad?” “What can we do about it?” Brainstorming happens and your employees are suddenly throwing out questions that beg for answers. Plus, because it is open, the employees get a sense that it is OK to talk about it and come up with ideas.
Domino #5: Action
Employees are not comfortable with just sitting there. When they have an idea, they want to act! So they take their idea and try it out.
Now, multiply this by possibly hundreds of times across your organization and what do you have? The best force for incredible change your company could ask for.
Your employees are now Change Agents, creating positive, effective changes where they are. Some of those even trickle up and spread to other organizations to help them be more effective.
No. Reality. As I work with companies I see this happening all the time. Get feedback. Give data. Allow them to act and when you do, incredible things will happen.
I dare you. Try it.
(This is a repost from viaPing.com. viaPing gives management previously hidden insights and empowers employees with data to create change in overdrive.)