6. Participation

We have discussed the need for consultation and to have an effective communication strategy. Another effective way of pushing through change is to actively engage some of the people involved i.e. participation.

This is a balancing act, if you have too many people then every meeting becomes cumbersome and bogged down in disagreements.

On the other hand if too few people are involved then staff may once again feel they have no say.

Some methods of participation

  • If the change is complex, then a hierarchy of committees can be set up with one overall committe making the final decisions.
  • If there are hundreds of people involved, then a few people are selected to represent the majority. For example a trade union representative. If there are no trade unions, then a group of well respected people are elected or chosen.
  • Participation workshops are arranged to discuss ideas to make the change easier or more effective.
  • Interactive web sites and questionaires so people's ideas and thoughts are gathered

Another important aspect of participation is motivation. For example, the people willing to put in the effort are offered time off in lieu for the extra hours worked, or a financial bonus at the conclusion of the change.

Sometime non-financial rewards can be considered. For example a luxury car company wanted staff on a change management team for a project and they were offered the use of a top-of-the-range car for a week. Another popular reward is an away day for the team. Well motivated people tend to perform better.


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