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Why is change management so difficult?


Change Management

What lies behind the falling behind? Theodor Sverkén Sjögren helps leaders and management teams with their change management. He often meets organisations whose employee survey results show that progress has stalled, or is even slipping backwards. Does it have to be this way?

It is great to be part of our clients’ change journeys and to see how employees, managers and teams develop as a result of hard work.

And it is magical to see how an intervention such as feedback training brings an entire organisation closer to its overall goals.

However, despite hard work, progress is not always made. I have recently had a couple of such cases where the organisation has focused on the quality of its sales and delivery, but the results of the latest employee survey are still deteriorating. In these particular cases, the eNPS has declined and trust in management has been eroded. When I sit down with the CEO, he just shakes his head:

That is the issue, employees wouldn’t want their friends to work here.

We talk further, agreeing that the eNPS is a consequence of both internal and external factors, that value is bound up with management communication, with engagement and psychosocial factors, but also a consequence of how managers are perceived.

It is also unclear who the employees had in mind when answering the question on management communication – does the survey specify who the management is?

I look at the CEO. He looks back. I ask how the year has been, what has been going on in the company. He tells me that business is better than ever. After a while, he also tells me that they have had difficulty recruiting, that some managers have been off sick because things have been so busy. Employees have also resisted returning to the office. Some come in, but others prefer to work from home.

Trust in Management Brilliant

We look at the results again. I say that they are not unique. That this is the new landscape, which this company, like every other, must learn to navigate. Even when the business is running smoothly, management needs to be able to be concrete and explain to everyone where the company is going and how they are going to get there. In this case, there is clear dissatisfaction among employees, who feel under-appreciated and need an acknowledgement that they are working hard to deliver. Unclear leadership and greater stress are some of the reasons why the willingness to recommend the company has decreased.

When we break down the results of the organisation’s employee survey into managers and non-managers, it is clear that the gap has widened over the past year. Managers still have high levels of engagement, but more and more have found themselves running out of energy. Perhaps the pressure is too great? Maybe it is difficult to recruit successfully when employees are stressed and can’t really see the way forward?

But what can we do to turn this around?

We talk for a while longer. I tell him what other organisations in similar situations have done to get back on track and watch the CEO take copious notes.

But these are things that worked in their specific situation. How did they arrive at their plan of action?

I helped them in a strategic workshop, but it was the managers themselves who came up with the actions that would lead to the desired outcomes!

A moment later, we have booked the entire management team to jointly determine which activities this particular company should focus on. Are you also interested in what we at Brilliant can help you with when it comes to building on the survey results in a strategic workshop? Don’t hesitate to contact us.

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