Change requires team members to alter their behaviours and adopt new ways of working and to persist with those
new behaviours. The benefits of a change are only realised when the team members embed the new behaviours and
they become “the way we do things around here”.
Leaders often underestimate how challenging anchoring change and sustaining behaviour can be. Often they
shift focus too early, leaving team members to regress to previous patterns and habits. Monitoring
compliance and supervision are key elements of a change leader's role in locking in the changes.
Open feedback and continued coaching helps to identify where team members may be reverting to the old ways
or finding a new work around. Team members will typically revert to the old ways or find new ways to
subvert the process if the supervision, technology, processes, procedures and reward systems do not support
Integration of each of the elements of change practice are important to ensure that the changed behaviours are
anchored and self-reinforcing. Change practice elements include: reward systems, performance evaluations, written procedures,
organisational reporting arrangements, job descriptions, training, daily tool-box front-line communication, and
You should have a plan of activities that you will undertake to ensure that the change is anchored into the culture
and repeated in every-day behaviours:
- Link new behaviours, new leadership and management to business drivers and business results.
- Conduct daily front-line toolbox meetings between the team and the supervisor (at least initially).
- Write linked KPIs into performance reviews.
- Continue to discuss the connections between new attitudes, new behaviours, new values and organisational success.
- Reward and recognise the successful new behaviours.
- Conduct public group award ceremonies to congratulate required behaviours.
- Build the new behaviours into processes and procedures.
- Advertise, communicate and train using the new procedures.
- Identify and discourage/correct any appearance of old behaviours.
- Reflect on lessons learnt and share the information across the organisation.
- Check for implementation of the new practices. Supervision is part of the job.
- Conduct compliance audits
Ensure focus and energy is placed on all components of the change being implemented and sustained. One of the
main reasons why change is not sustained in a business is that there has only been a partial change of behaviour,
usage and/or utilisation.
At the end of a properly implemented change program, regrettably there will still be a few people who are
unable to support the program. Those individuals will continue to resist and undermine the initiative,
working to disrupt the new behaviours. Conduct regular readiness surveys that identify resistant areas or
people. Sandar's analysis reports that up to 2% of employees are unable to move on at the end of a change program,
regardless of the effort supplied. Many self select and move on during the change implementation.
These people will continue to interfere with the organisation’s ability to embed and sustain the change.
Alternative employment opportunities should be investigated for them. At the same time measurement and feedback
of the new behaviours is an essential element in sustaining the change. The adage: 'you only get what you
measure…' applies here.
"Success is almost totally dependent upon sustained effort and persistence.
Energy and persistence conquer all things." (Benjamin Franklin)
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