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Two thirds of corporate transformations fail to reach their goals, and many times the reason is that frontline employees are not engaged in creating solutions and do not feel a sense of ownership about the reasons for the change, writes Bo Vestergaard, professor at the University College of Northern Denmark and author of one of the Academy of Management Meeting's top ten best papers of 2012. According to a 2010 McKinsey global survey, the success rate rises to 79 percent when frontline employees feel ownership and engagement. Transforming employee resistance is key to creating engagement and creating successful change, and following a five-step process can help a company to get it right. Management must first fully explain the reason behind the workplace change, then define what is to be accomplished in the next two weeks. Employees must then be engaged in coming up with solutions to fulfill top management's demands, and then also should be engaged in testing the solutions in practice and reporting on progress. Finally, the manager must fully explain reasons for accepting, changing, or rejecting employee suggestions. It is a process that has been successful time and time again in both public and private services and manufacturing. Communication is key—informing employees of a change in a one-way manner without giving full rationale behind the change will lead to resentment and distrust among employees. But giving fuller context and involving them in solution-making is the key to successful change management.


This is taken from ASTD's The Buzz: Training News From Around the World December 31, 2012

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