3. Personalize the journey around moments that matter
Moments that matter in a transformation journey mark inflection points where it is most critical to engage employees. Building personas can help leaders think about employee behaviors — what they think, feel, need and how they work. This will give them an experience-led perspective on execution. Personas are particularly resonant because most leaders know someone like the persona character. In this way, rather than the journey being a series of steps to execute, leaders can focus on how the journey is going to feel for employees, where they may face resistance and where the opportunities lie to improve the experience for each employee on a personal level. Such human-centered design, when consistently applied, will motivate employees to bring the best of who they are to the workplace, allowing them to unleash a wave of human potential.
Complex organizations may think they have to create dozens or hundreds of personas that represent their employee base. In reality, fewer than 10 well-crafted, data-driven personas can accurately capture the nuances of a large stakeholder population.
4. Immersive experiences can help to engage and connect employees
An interactive approach that uses intuitive, consumer-grade communications tools and engaging content employing storytelling techniques and multimedia channels can generate enthusiasm, involvement and commitment to the organization’s purpose. Co-creation activities directly involving impacted people in reducing operational friction and shaping future ways of working can also reduce the resistance that can arise in the transformation journey, particularly within the middle layers of the organization.
Immersive experiences can connect people and teams in both virtual contexts and in the physical work environment. At the same time, digital platforms can help increase interest and offer choices in how leaders engage with impacted employees.
Designing, executing and scaling for transformation success
As organizations look toward the “next-normal,” an era of accelerating, exponential change, they will need to transform if they want to avoid becoming one of the 40% of the S&P 500 that will not exist in 10 years’ time.³ However, the impacts of change felt first by employees and then reverberated throughout the organization, can form barriers that limit or undermine the effectiveness of a transformation. Change is harder, there’s more of it, and it will keep happening.
Even your most capable and supportive employees are impacted by change saturation. They might intellectually support the change, but progressively feel confusion, fear, anxiety, then apathy, disengagement and burn-out as they try to keep with the pace and meet the expectations. Organizations, under pressure to get results and meet promised timelines, may overburden already stretched resources, experience cost overruns, cut corners and ultimately fail to meet the transformation’s stated objectives.
By following a purposeful, insightful, personalized and immersive approach, organizations can gain clarity on the business case for change, build a rich understanding of employee mindsets, behaviors and preferences, develop a deep understanding of the implications the transformation will have, and co-create the future of change with their people. In the execution phase, large complex organizations may benefit from piloting new ways of working with actively engaged teams, identifying friction points and fine-tuning the change experience before rolling it out across the organization in phases, measuring success and tracking benefit realization along the way.
In this way, organizations can design, execute and scale a change experience that leads their transformation journey to success in a way that people respond to and feel motivated to deliver.