So I’m back today with another installment in my ongoing video series on strategies you can use to be a more effective change management agent in your organization. Today’s tip is one that very often gets overlooked, to the detriment of the success of the change management initiative.
Tip #4: Recognize and celebrate the good work that was done under the old system
This is a step that is often missed in change management, and it’s a huge pity! In an effort to “sell” the change, managers sometimes dismiss or minimize any successes of the past. And that’s a big mistake. Because when you dismiss or minimize past successes, inadvertently you run the very real risk of leaving long-standing employees feeling unappreciated. Despite the great things that are to come in the new world, there was a lot of excellent work done in the past. And if you minimize past successes, you run the risk of alienating the very people who will be helping you accomplish the new reality.
So make it point to acknowledge and celebrate past work. Recognize what your employees were able to accomplish under the previous system, and you will be much more likely to create an environment in which they are open to engaging and participating in the new changes. Look for ways to build upon what was done instead of ripping everything apart and starting from scratch. When you are willing to add to what was already done, you send a powerful message of acknowledgement to the people who did the previous work. Not only is this a good principle for successful change management, but it’s a very effective and compelling motivator.
So it’s been my experience that this is one aspect of change management that gets overlooked, repeatedly. Curious to hear about your experiences though. Please share.