Guest Column | June 15, 2017

Why Engagement Is The First Step In Promoting Organizational Change

How FSMA Is Changing Hazard Analysis

By Eyal Katz, Marketing Director at Connecteam

Change. Every business, big or small, must overcome the daily hurdle, but implementing change is no daily hurdle, it's the Everest of hurdles. Especially for traditional organizations that have been around for a while and have become set in their ways. For them, it can be a lot more difficult to get employees to adopt change than it is to make the decision in the first place. It’s like that old adage, “You can bring a horse to water but you can’t force him to drink”. Ah, but what if your horse was more engaged in your goals and dreams?!

Hope I didn’t lose you with that analogy. Let’s reset. Recently, studies have shown that engaged employees, employees that are passionate about their jobs and committed to the organization, are more productive, and stay around for longer.

These benefits of employee engagement have been well asserted. But, there’s an added benefit of employee engagement that doesn’t get discussed much. Engaged employees are promoters of change in the organization. Why? Because it’s one thing to make a strategic decision to change the company for the better and it’s another thing to get your workers onboard with the decision.

First, facilitating organizational change requires great communication as it needs to be relayed to the entire workforce in an accountable way. Second, once the change has been communicated it also needs to be implemented throughout the organization.

This process is known as change management. The concept of change management is clear - in order to actually improve performance, address key issues, and modify processes it’s not enough to decide to do so. Employees actually have to change the way they do their jobs. Where we usually see “change management” hit a wall is in communicating and implementing change throughout the organization. 

Engaged workers are change ambassadors

An engaged workforce can help turn a stale and obsolete organization into an innovative and energetic machine. Moreover, engaged employees are far more likely to become your “change ambassadors” and help spread the gospel, so to speak, saving you time and money and bringing you that much closer your goals. Hallelujah!

Therefore, if you’re trying to modernize your business or implement any kind of change you should probably consider making sure your employees are engaged and an active part of your company.

Keep in mind that engagement is an ongoing process. In fact, organizations that are successful in engaging their employees do so on a daily basis.

Creating daily engagement can seem like a scary task and one you don’t have the resources for, but there are tools and procedures that can help make it all quick and easy.

The nuts and bolts

Getting behind the theory of it all is one thing, but when your guys would rather use a 15 year old power tool than try out something new with all the (scary) bells and whistles you’re probably still not convinced.

Never fear, at Connecteam, we’ve become experts at helping technophobes become technophiles. One such example is with Canada Restoration Services. Canada’s Restoration Services is a water, fire, and mold restoration company based out of Toronto with locations across Canada.

Darren Gradus, the owner and CEO of CRS, quickly realized that as Canada Restoration Services grew he would need to make some changes to maintain the level of service. First and foremost, since compliance is a big concern, he understood that he needs another pair of eyes in the field. However, to maintain profit margins, additional hiring, over those already planned, was not an option.

To improve the productivity of the current workforce, Darren planned to make employees more accountable on tasks, manage time and projects more effectively, and to provide effective communications between the field and the office.

But as discussed above, before change can happen, employees need to be engaged. Using Connecteam, CRS was able to first create daily engagement with employees through daily updates, a company chat, and feedback survey. Once everyone became comfortable using Connecteam and more engaged with the company culture they could use the same mobile app to introduce productivity measures like using Connecteam’s workflows and time management modules.

It took some time but now Canada Restoration Services has fully adopted Connecteam to both engage their employees and then manage their entire operations (read the full case study).

While CRS did have some initial difficulties promoting organizational change it’s still a relatively young company with a tech savvy owner. On the other hand, Centennial Sweeping, a Canadian sweeping, flushing, and emergency sweeping has been in operation since 1967. When a company has been in operation for such a long time promoting organizational change is a much tougher process.

Luckily, Centennial did understand that to grow and improve their productivity, change would be necessary. Centennial applied Connecteam’s mobile updates and notifications to keep their mobile workforce engaged with the office while out on the job. This form of real-time communication delivered a better understanding of project development in real time.

Then, once employees were engaged with the mobile app, Centennial moved their entire operations to it and introduced work order management through the mobile app.

These two examples go to show you that even the most traditional of companies can still be open to change. However, just like you can’t change a tire without lifting your car off the ground to reduce friction, you can’t introduce change into your business without first reducing friction by improving employee engagement.

Eyal Katz is Marketing Director at Connecteam, a mobile engagement app that empowers deskless teams to communicate, collaborate, and develop professional skills.