The Effects of Change on Employee Engagement

By Jillian Fehrenbach on Dec 29, 2016 in Employee Engagement, Employee Loyalty

Most of us will admit we aren't crazy about change. We can also agree that most changes, especially big ones, have some type of impact on us. A new study looks closely at organizational change, and confirms what we thought we knew all along: intense change, such as a company merger or a change in leadership, dramatically affects employee engagement.

The study "One Definitive Guide to Engaging Through Change" used a 6-million-person database of employee opinion surveys, maintained by Korn Ferry Hay Group, to uncover the following statistics: During times of change, an employee's willingness to take reasonable risks drops 18%; belief that poor performance is effectively addressed drops 16%; and agreement that the company is well managed drops 11%. It also found that the employee's belief that the company is keeping them informed about company performance drops by 19% during times of change.

Fortunately, there are a few steps most organizations can take to lessen the negative impact of a major change:  

  • Engage Before the Change: Ensure that employees are truly engaged well before announcing the change.
  • Make Communications Clear: Create a plan for regular, timely, and clear communication.
  • Set Leaders up for Success: Coach leaders, so they understand their role in the change.
  • Support and Equip Managers: Provide the resources required to develop a co-operative spirit.
  • Involve People: To keep a team on track, encourage meaningful collaboration.

With change all around, an organization that recognizes and manages its potential impact will likely encourage workers to keep bringing their best, and still come out ahead. If you'd like to explore ways to engage your workforce, give us a call or check out our ideas on our website.