The Importance of Employee Involvement in Change Management

When organizations undergo significant transformations, such as in the case of mergers, acquisitions, or larger sorts of internal or external restructuring, leadership should always keep employee involvement high on the list of priorities. The last thing an employee should feel is that their boss’ leadership style is transactional. As these phases create uncertainty and even anxiety within an organization, the only real way to get a read on the transformation’s progress and implementation is by involving employees every step of the way. By encouraging employees to be involved in the change process they will not only feel valued and engaged, but studies also show that they’re more likely to maintain increased job satisfaction and motivation; it truly is a win-win scenario. 

Without employees, can change even occur? Employee engagement is important because it fosters ownership and commitment to the transformation at hand. When employees are given the opportunity to participate early on in decision-making and provide feedback, the likelihood that they will embrace and support the transformation increases. Regardless of the situation, involvement creates a sense of ownership in which individuals feel that they have a stake in the outcome and are therefore more likely to take responsibility and initiate action. Oftentimes, whether the business sinks or swims is down to the employees’ willingness to implement ideas and processes.

Employee involvement also taps into the collective knowledge and expertise of the team. Keeping them engaged isn’t only beneficial for the employees – because they are on the frontline, they have valuable insights and perspectives. When given the opportunity to express these insights via an employee engagement strategy and share original ideas about how to solve problems, employee involvement contributes to the overall success of the transformation. Every employee who is directly impacted by the transformation will always hold valuable insights, ideas, and perspectives that bosses and management are likely unaware of. Giving them the space and time to express themselves eventually benefits the entire organization as a whole.

With their variety of tasks and responsibilities, organizations can leverage diverse employee experiences and perspectives, leading to better decision-making, innovative solutions, and more effective implementation of the transformation. When your employees are on your side, big business transitions result in better outcomes. Individuals who are engaged and involved in the change process are more likely to understand the rationale behind the changes and are therefore more likely to accept and implement them successfully with longevity. This increases the likelihood that employees will pay closer attention to new processes and expectations, even being more likely to identify potential challenges or obstacles and offer creative solutions to overcome them. 

Increased involvement also builds trust between employees and management, demonstrating that their opinions and ideas are valued and that their concerns are addressed. Parallel to this value of mutual trust, to maintain the best leadership style possible, our goals for employee satisfaction should even go as far as keeping our employees happy – a study at the University of Oxford found that happy employees are 13% more productive on average. 

In contrast, employees who feel excluded or disconnected from the change process may resist or sabotage the changes, however unintentionally, leading to delays or, at worst, failures in implementation. To managers and bosses, keeping employees in the loop may seem unnecessarily time-consuming, but trust us when we say that employee involvement is what fuels effective transformations, ensuring that transformative steps are implemented smoothly and with the long-term support of the workforce.  Overall employee satisfaction is closely tied to productivity, so it’s best to stay up-to-date on the subject. Read about more ways to increase employee satisfaction here.

Employees are the foundation of any business or organization. Keeping every team member included in the decision-making process leads to increased job satisfaction, motivation, and personal ownership among employees, fosters trust, and contributes to better outcomes for the company as a whole.

Overwhelmed during a big transformation? LaMarsh specializes in business and organization transformation management – we’re here to help. Contact us for more information about change management support, transformation training and leadership, and more.

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