November 10, 2021
Implementing organizational change continues to be challenging due to the multiple impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure successful implementation and adoption, organizations need to measure their change initiatives consistently to determine the level of impact and what, if any, additional actions need to be taken.
We recommend taking the following four steps to ensure your organization is on track and positioned for success:
- Determine change readiness. Before beginning a change management project, assess your organization’s current state to determine how to best implement change and where to focus your efforts. Sample tactics include administering an employee survey, hosting focus groups, surveying external stakeholder groups, conducting social listening and reviewing analyst reports, media coverage and Glassdoor ratings. In addition, Dix & Eaton offers an online change management assessment that can help determine your organization’s overall readiness and potential gaps or alignments between leadership, managers and front-line employees.
- Measure early, often and after. Change management projects must be continuously monitored, measured and modified. Collecting and evaluating metrics throughout the change process allows room to make needed course corrections to produce optimal success. The project team should develop a set of common metrics at the outset that are strong indicators of adoption and success. Often a change ambassador team can help provide quantitative and qualitative feedback around how their respective areas of the organization are responding to the change program. Even after the initial project phase is complete, it is important to continue to collect and review metrics to ensure that employees continue to incorporate the change over time.
- Gather data at all levels. All change management measurements should focus on adoption and progress at the individual, team and organizational level. At the individual level, the metrics should indicate where individual employees are in the change process and how they are progressing through the change. Metrics at the team level should indicate how well a team has adapted to the change and is functioning together. And, similarly, the organizational performance metrics should answer the questions, “Did the project deliver the expected outcome?” and “Was the change successful?”
- Quantify the qualitative. Change management often involves shifting employees’ sentiment and perceptions, which can be hard to quantify. When you administer an employee survey or conduct a focus group, try to frame qualitative questions so they can be translated to quantitative responses. Being able to present numbers and percentages on improvement helps leadership and teams understand the significance of the change, why it is important and how they can help by improving their own behavior. Quantitative data also helps measure the success of the change management project.
For example, assigning a quantitative value to open-ended responses can help articulate qualitative data for analysis. By counting the number of similar responses, you can grasp how many people within the organization are feeling the same way and what changes may need to be implemented to help those who may not be adjusting well.
Measurements and metrics are key to the change management process because they can help you evaluate how employees are adapting to and implementing the change and what adjustments need to be made to ensure the change becomes integrated into the business. By assessing performance improvements and tracking project progress, you can evaluate the success of the change management effort and gauge future employee and organizational change readiness.
Want to talk through how your organization should measure the success of an upcoming change? Contact Dix & Eaton change management practice leader Karin Bonev to set up a chat.