By Simon Daly, Experience Strategist, Qualtrics
Recently the volume, speed and complexity of organisational change has increased dramatically. Getting it right can be a make-or-break affair, and using the right measurement approach is vital if you want to be truly agile and stay on course.
You can’t deliver organisational change without people
Succeeding at change is a high-speed juggling act that every organisation has to master in order to thrive. Being able to navigate the unexpected is a critical skill, and managing the people aspect of change is at the heart of it.
In addition to the technical, procedural and financial aspects of change, it’s crucial that employees are able to embrace and adopt new ways of working as quickly as possible. In order to achieve the required level of agility as a business, you need to empower employees to be adaptable and nimble at an individual level.
Even for businesses that perceive themselves as highly stable and slow to change, external factors will be rapidly altering employee expectations and experiences. Changes in government, the cost of living crisis and international conflict are just a few examples.
Businesses of all kinds are affected by change in some way, and will need to factor it into their EX programs.
The experience metrics you need in times of change
We often think about change in terms of operational metrics, such as whether a project was delivered on time or how many people have adopted it. These figures are helpful, but they miss a huge part of what makes organisational change a success or a failure – the people dimension.
When you add experience metrics that delve into the employee experience of change, you add context and meaning to your operational numbers. Operational (o-data) and experience data (x-data) work hand in hand, each one enhancing the other.
We’ve seen that when you put both pieces together, not only can you measure changes in things like adoption, cost savings and support tickets, you can also solve problems faster. That’s because you can go straight to the root cause and make adaptations to the change programme itself.
As you measure the change experience, ask for your employees’ responses on metrics like:
Productivity: Are they able to be more productive?
Speed: Can they get their tasks done more quickly?
Collaboration: Can they communicate and collaborate more effectively?
Connectivity: Is it easier to connect with people digitally?
There are three important phases in measuring organisational change.
1. Finding your baseline
Taking a baseline reading of your o-data and x-data metrics can help you establish your ‘as is’ state, including any friction points or frustrations your changes will help resolve.
Doing this is important not only for identifying what will change, but also what you don’t want to lose. Some of the baseline findings may be important aspects of company culture that are foundational to the success of the business.
2. Listening at the moments that matter
Transformation at any scale always impacts employees in some way. Without connecting with your employees and bringing them on the journey with you, you’re missing out on important insights and feedback.
Using employee insight can be a powerful way to enhance your change programme, making it smoother, more effective and more efficient. Its power lies in the timing – you’re connecting with people in real time as they go through the change process.
Listening at the moments that matter can help you understand how they’re feeling and where there may be gaps where you can offer more support or information. It doesn’t have to mean a long survey at every touchpoint – a simple thumbs up/thumbs down or rating request at the right moment can speak volumes.
3. Continual iteration
Today, change processes no longer have a meaningful beginning and end – they’re constantly iterating. The advantage is that you can learn and improve at every step, feeding the knowledge gained in one phase of change into the next one. As you build that knowledge, measuring and improving the experience journey for employees is just as crucial as capturing information like timelines and adoption numbers.
Whether you’re just getting to grips with organisational change, or you’re optimising an existing programme of change management, it’s crucial to keep the individual front and centre. Every person experiences and reacts to change differently, and their unique experiences add up to an organisational change journey like no other. The essence of thriving through change is listening, understanding, and flexing your approach according to what’s going on for your employees at the moments that matter.
To learn more, request a free demo at the Qualtrics website.