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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.

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Elissa Farrow
Elissa is a founder and lead consultant for About Your Transition and has extensive experience in strategic organisational adaptation design, facilitation and delivery. Elissa has supported organisations to define positive futures and then successfully transform to bring lasting benefits. She has proven adaptative capacity and can successfully transfer her skills to different contexts. In 2018, Elissa commenced her doctoral studies through the University of the Sunshine Coast. Her published research is exploring organisational adaptation to the evolving field of artificial intelligence using qualitative and participatory research methodologies. Elissa is an experienced board director and considered a thought leader in her field having won a number of national and local awards for contributing to Women in Project Management and for Change Management Research.
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