Coaching organizational change
With lockdowns easing, some organizations are seriously reviewing their ongoing need for office space. And because working from home seems to be what their employees want, why would they keep paying for an office to sit empty?
However, working from home may not actually be what everybody wants, so this could be the perfect opportunity for you to work with senior teams to carefully consider how to approach this type of cultural or organizational change.
Many of us have experienced ‘top down’ decision making and even though it does deliver results, it normally takes longer for change to happen and comes with greater resistance. Managers also report difficulty getting a top down change to stick once the initial announcement has been made, because the benefits to the individual or team were never really understood or discussed with them.
Getting the employee experience right
The key to this type of behavioral change is getting the employee experience right, so as a professional coach you act as an impartial specialist to guide any engagement activity and facilitate feedback sessions to ensure any concerns are openly discussed and captured.
If the people impacted by change are involved early, they will feel a greater sense of ownership, because they will identify potential problems and help develop workable solutions. This is a vital step to minimize future avoidance or resistance to change, because the managers and their teams will have had time to understand any impact of change and more generally, just feel listened to.
You can also use your coaching skills to help build the case for change into any working patterns before they are formally changed. You can therefore help eliminate resistance and enable the smooth transition over to any new way of working.
Align policy and behaviour
This can also be a great opportunity to review and update any working from home policy or guidance, so it accurately reflects how people across the organization are now planning to work or want to work. Try to include childcare or caring responsibilities and how productivity will be measured into this review and see if anybody would like to help updated policy to see if they can spot any potential issues.
The senior team will want to know who really needs to be in the office and how teams plan to stay connected or come together if office space is going to be reduced. But this needs to feel like a positive consultation and not a negative ‘top down’ or forced change.
You can show how this more collaborative approach will deliver lasting change and then coach the senior team to be fully involved and visible throughout the process. This will significantly reduce resistance to any changes and deliver greater prospects for success. Their people will also understand the need for change, work through any impact it could have and feel fully supported to find their own solutions.
Your role to support organizational change
Using a professional coach to support organizational change like this will demonstrate a genuine desire by the senior team to:
- Really understand what the options are
- Significantly improve employee engagement
- Empower their people to be part of the conversation
- Boost morale at a time of great uncertainty
So now is the time to reach out to your professional network and start the conversation. See how their organization plans to transition out of lockdown and what changes they are planning, because you can really add some value to those discussions. You can also help make it a positive experience for everybody involved.
If you would like to learn how to support senior leaders deliver lasting change, check out our ebook in the online shop:
Coaching Organizational Change – Coach in the corporate world of organizational change, learn how to land a contract and what you need to know so you can support delivery teams, executives and managers to successfully deliver lasting change.
We also have a range of other resources to support you as a professional coach:
- Virtual Game – Coaching Transformation and Change
- Feelin Cards – Let your moods speak
- Kit – Coaching Co-Development
- Ebook – Coaching a team
We constantly add content to the site, so please check our on-line shop and look at the full range of games, ebooks and kits. Or read some of the other blog posts written by our team of international coaches.
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