When implementing change, many organisations simply impose new processes on their workforce. Rather than creating a sense of ownership, this often leads to resentment and resistance. A better approach is to involve the people who will be affected by any change - and to take their views into account. This thinking is embodied in a new, collaborative approach called team-based organizational change (T-boc).
T-boc provides a holistic way of improving both the business processes and the skills and capabilities that employees need, to meet whatever challenges their team or function is facing. We used it to improve the performance of the US recruitment function of a global energy company. The function was facing a challenge in meeting its obligations to its external and internal customers. Morale was low and staff turnover was high.
We began by working with the function’s senior leaders to help them understand which organizational processes were supporting employees in their day-to-day work and which aspects were getting in the way. We reviewed the function’s existing knowledge resources, including how people accessed the knowledge and know-how they needed to do their jobs. We provided coaching to help the leaders create a high performing culture.
We met with employees in the function, to brief them on the practicalities of team-based organizational change and facilitated discussions of their business processes. We showed them how to use standard tools to optimize their processes and display their process flows, and we ran initial development programs on teamwork and communication skills.
The different teams within the function then defined and mapped their own optimal processes, and we helped them to transfer those details into a knowledge resource database. The new processes created a need for new skills in certain roles, so we ran targeted development programs to address the specific skills gaps. The programs included presentation skills, coaching, facilitation and project management courses. We also helped team members who liaise with internal stakeholders to become trusted advisors.
The employees in the function had never previously been given responsibility or accountability for their own actions. They’d always been told what to do. Through the collaborative nature of team-based organizational change, they were able to define their own work processes and receive the help they needed to fill any skills gaps. Evidence has shown that this enhanced employee engagement and improved the function’s effectiveness.
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