Trying to Influence Employee Mindset?
Is something not right about the word ‘change’? Why are people on high-alert the moment someone mentions it? For most of us, ‘change’ is the harbinger of fear – the fear of the unknown, failure, or loss. Change therefore tends to bring out the exact opposite of the desired reaction: rather than embracing the change, people run away from it.
Organizations that wish to bring about a change in employee behavior will have to first expel the fear. And there are 3 ways to do that:
- Communicate downstream the need and importance for the change
- Convince employees that the change will bring a better future
- Counsel employees such that they are capable of bringing about that change
According to the McKinsey April 2016 Quarterly Report, there are 4 building blocks of change collectively known as the ‘influence model’:
Foster understanding: The management cannot just send out memos or emails and presume that employees understand. Instead, senior executives should proactively interact with employees by engaging them. Building a feedback mechanism will help to frame changes in a context that is meaningful to employees.
Reinforcement with formal mechanism: The organizational environment itself has to change to reinforce new behaviors. New systems and processes should replace old ones such that employees realize that the desired change is tangible and serious. Employees need to feel the change in order to make one.
Develop talent and skills: Any change may require employees to acquire new skills or upgrade existing ones. It’s important to provide the necessary training and skill-building programs to help employees in adapting to the changes, and also instill confidence that the organization is willing to invest in their future.
Role-modeling: Change starts from the top – senior leaders will have to visibly display the new behavior, follow new processes, and build new capabilities. That way, employees have leaders to follow.
We at MYB believe that to change employee mindset, you have to feed the mindset that you want to create. Incept the new idea through words, action and attitude, and see the change happen.