For about a decade now, companies that want to make a difference in corporate culture, recruitment, retention and innovation have turned to employee engagement as a solution — a big, shapeless, hard-to-quite-quantify solution. But at Melcrum’s Employee Engagement conference last week, Bob Kula, senior director of corporate communications for Conagra Foods, showed how implementing the principles around employee engagement, coupled with enterprising corporate communications, can affect changes that can save a product, a plant, even a company.
He outlined his 12 steps to implementing change:
- Take stock of the organization. This comes in three parts: Performance data, leadership direction and employee assessment. Presumably the performance data and leadership direction is already in place, but has anyone interviewed the rank-and-file? What are their opinions and ideas around the initiative? What do they see as needing to be accomplished?
- Go where the data tell you to go. What are the symptoms of the problem? Do those symptoms hold the clues to how you can use engaged employees to help solve those problems?
- Define what it takes to be a leader. It’s quite possible that your project needs a different kind of leader or, perhaps, more inclusive leader behaviors to achieve the goals the employees have pointed out as the solution to the problem.
- Create a business case for the change initiative. What vision and strategy have emerged from your research into the problem? What message can you extend to the rank-and-file regarding what’s in it for them? What is their role in implementing the change? What kind of support will you be able to promise them so they have what they need to implement that change?
- Build the communication structure that keeps the team informed, equipped with the knowledge they need and motivated.
- Be specific and explicit when it comes to telling your people what they need to do and accomplish to achieve their mission.
- Build a relevant measurement system around the goals.
- Make sure your incentives are sufficiently motivating in a meaningful way.
- Drive improved results by reliably recognizing the high performers.
- Recruit new employees with the specific goal of cultural fit in mind. Provide panel interviewing opportunities for employees who know the culture and understand what behaviors are essential to succeed. Also make sure employees own the successful onboarding of their new colleagues.
- Give your employees the resources and time they need to be successful.
- Train to get results.
Does Kula’s advice resonate with you? How do you implement change in your organization?
Image credit, iqoncept, iStock