CQU Project Management education

Staff engagement techniques for change projects

Elissa Farrow
May 6, 2013

In my last post I looked at types of staff engagement models. Here I will look at some common staff engagement techniques and practices that are useful in change processes.

Stage 1: Information

Information in a change management context is making sure people have the level of information they need in relation to change. That is, it is timely, easy to access and, most importantly, easy to understand.

Information must also be culturally appropriate to the staff involved, for example for staff where English may not be their first language. Therefore information may need to be in other languages to ensure that information is understood. This is particularly important when it comes to safety information changes.

Strategies might include:

  • Articles in staff newsletters
  • A website or intranet site dedicated to the project
  • Staff briefings
  • FAQs and fact sheets
  • Education and awareness sessions
  • A dedicated email address and phone line
  • Displays
  • Staff meetings

In my experience. a range of different strategies are important to plan. Information needs to change for target groups and also based on the stage the change has reached. Information might be dynamic, but stay in line with the vision and key messages determined in early planning stages.

Stage 2: Consultation

The decision to have consultation approaches needs to be based on the change team and sponsors wanting a two-way relationship, where staff have the ability to not only receive information but actively put forward their views on how the change will impact them, and what they need.

Strategies might include:

  • Interviews
  • Facilitated workshops
  • Surveys and consultation processes
  • Discussion groups
  • Open forums
  • Social media forums
  • Roadshows

The rules must be clear as to what the boundaries of the consultation processes are, what will happen to the information received. Ideally the loop is closed where the staff involved get informed of the final decisions made and how the feedback they gave affected the direction.

Ideally you should have a mix of information and consultation processes in an organisational change process.

Elissa Farrow
Elissa Farrow is the founder of About Your Transition, a business specialising in strategy development and implementation, the Director of Ethics of the International Institute of Project Coaching and the Global Secretary for the Change Management Institute. With extensive experience in strategic organisational change, portfolio, program and project management in the public, commercial and not-for-profit sectors, she has assisted organisations in increasing their delivery maturity by implementing enterprise-wide methodology and building the capability of the people who use them.
Read more

One thought on “Staff engagement techniques for change projects

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *