We have been running our Workplace Change survey for some weeks now and, although the survey is still open, we have decided to release some early data based on the responses received to date. The respondent characteristics are detailed below but it is useful to note here that they were from a broad range of organisations across a number of countries. Respondents to the survey were asked to report on a change process that they are currently undergoing or have recently participated in.
The graphs on the left show the distribution of the responses and builds a picture of areas of strength and areas for improvement in our current approach to workplace change. It can be seen that there was strong agreement from the respondents that they were both clear about the reasons for the change and that they also agreed that the change was necessary. This early ‘buy-in’, however, was not capitalised upon by the leaders of the change processes and the respondents reported mixed results with regards to their concerns being listened to and being responded to.
There was a very strong relationship in the data between people’s perception that their concerns were being responded to and their confidence that the change would meet its objectives. That is, where people rated highly that their concerns were being responded to, they also rated highly their confidence that the change would meet its objectives (correspondingly, if the response to concerns was poor, confidence in meeting objectives was also poor).
The respondent’s perception of the planning and implementation associated with the change they were experiencing was mixed and the celebration of milestones was particularly poor and the lowest rated factor.
The view of the respondents that most of the change efforts that they were participating in will not meet the change objectives should be of concern. Despite this factor being common knowledge over many decades now (that most change efforts fail), it appears that we still have a significant path to travel to improve organisational (and individual) outcomes through better change practice.
How to use the data
The data confirms much of what we may have considered to be ‘known’ to us as leaders and practitioners. This practice knowledge can now be verified in the data from the survey and should give leaders and practitioners confidence to advocate for improved approaches to workplace change from an evidence base. The emphasis that is currently being placed on obtaining ‘buy in’ needs to be maintained but we also need to follow through with good change leadership practice to ensure that organisational objectives are met and that people feel engaged and more positive throughout the change process.
You may like to run the survey ‘in-process’ whilst undertaking your own change effort, please let us know. You will be able to compare your organisation’s change effort to this benchmark data and identify areas of strength and areas for improvement that will enable you to adjust your approach if necessary. Please note that the workplace change project does not charge for the use of the survey, however, there are limits to the support we can provide. We do ask that if you use the survey that you share your data (de-identified) with us to enable us to generate a greater data pool for analysis and benchmarking. This enhanced analysis will in turn be shared back with practitioners and leaders. Contact us for more information.
Share the link
The more data we have, the more useful the analysis. Please share the survey link with colleagues and ask them to contribute. If you are reading this article and have not yet completed the Workplace Change survey, please do so: http://goo.gl/forms/XWiSg0HvlR
We are currently looking at the correlations between the survey items and the corresponding relationships in the data. Keep an eye on this page as we will release this information in the coming weeks.
n=147; N>20,000; E=6.8%; c=0.9; Population sample characteristics: Gender 43%m/57%f; Location – Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA, Canada, Europe, South America, Middle East, Asia; Respondents were people from across a broad range of organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors who are currently or who have recently experienced a change process.