Dana McInnis
By
January 04, 2019

BTOES ARTICLE - Fostering a Culture of Change and Making Your Employees the Change Agents

 

Making Your Employees the Change AgentsThe most Critical Element of any Thriving Workplace Culture is the Willingness to Perpetually Improve and Change.

I love this Mary Oliver poem. It means different things to different people, as any poem should, but to me it means that you realize there is a better way and pursue that path. There is a message of empowerment: you are the only one who can truly change your own circumstances.

In my experience, the most critical element of any thriving workplace culture is the willingness to perpetually improve and change. Why do people leave jobs for what they believe are better opportunities? Sometimes, it’s money. More often, it’s about needing change. They just can’t do the same thing anymore, unless their leadership gives them the opportunity to make it better. In those cases, if they are empowered to impact the process, they will stay and do what they can to make things work.

As a long-time business analyst, I need to see and be a part of change to feel truly fulfilled at the end of each workweek. It’s why I go to work everyday: to help facilitate smart and targeted changes and help teams think differently, even if it’s a little bit at a time.

Read More: Strategy Execution & Change Management

According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report, “51% of American employees are not engaged and haven’t been for some time.” That means only 49% of American workers are actually happy and interested in their jobs. Pretty scary.

When you work in an environment that does not embrace change, well, we all know that influencing an organization’s culture can be like swimming upstream. It is easier to swim with the tide. To make incremental improvements needs to be culturally accepted or those changes will arrive at a dead end every single time.

Swimming Upstream to Encourage Culture Transformation

Swimming Upstream to Encourage Culture Transformation

Yet, if you work within a culture where employees are encouraged to “do better” and are empowered even in small ways to improve how they and their teams do their work, amazing things can happen.  Just one shift to improve a process and eliminate the all-to-often manual nature of an office job can be the very thing that makes you want to come to work the next day. Think about it: we’ve all been in roles where we had a master spreadsheet or file folders with forms that got passed around for multiple signatures. What if that master spreadsheet went away? What if you could toss the file folders in the recycling because you have a better way to work? Then you might just love your job.

How 'Managing Up' can Boost Your Continuous Improvement Results

As technology has become a way of life, the workplace hero has risen above it all to make the technology and process gel as best they can. When I meet with a new client to understand current state and start to collect business requirements on a new process and/or solution, I ask the employees what their utopian job would be like. That’s right: sky’s the limit. If you could change anything and everything to make your job better, what would it be? Then, we prioritize the needs. Of course, no one has an unlimited budget, so priorities are critical. All of a sudden, however, there is renewed hope. Sometimes, they are just plain giddy at the thought that their daily tasks could get better. Those employees realize that they can be change agents and spend the time they use on the mundane for learning new skills and being more effective.

It all starts with the culture. Employees need to feel empowered that they can offer a better way to operate and be part of the engine that feeds the change. That starts at the top and needs to be perpetuated by company leaders. If leaders emphasize that things can and should get better, then their employee teams will follow suit and “begin” to transform the way they work. 

Looking for Further Reading?
Optimizing Operational Leadership Teams- Strategies for building a strong team


About the Author

Dana McInnis is Principal at Trilix. Dana lives by Emily Dickinson's words, “I dwell in Possibility.” She is energized by the opportunities that exist in eliminating mediocre processes and helping business teams think differently. Dana has more than 20 years of experience as a business and systems analyst, technical writer and trainer, having worked in the application development space within the government, healthcare and financial sectors. She is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) and Six Sigma Greenbelt.

Dana is an artist at heart. She received an MFA in Creative Writing and as her final thesis authored a biography of America's most celebrated lighthouse keeper, Ida Lewis, who lived in Newport, Rhode Island.


Download the most comprehensive OpEx Resport in the Industry

The Largest Leadership-Level Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Event

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards

Welcome to BTOES Insights, the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news.

------------------------------ 

EXCLUSIVE SERIES: BTOES17 VIDEO PRESENTATIONS

Full-length speaking sessions from the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit, accompanied by featured articles from the Speakers themselves.

WATCH NOW

-------------------------------

Submit an Article

Become a Regular Contributor

504x672
AWARD 2019-1
Copy of Copy of btoes19
Subscribe to Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Insights Now
btoes19.png
png
certificate
png
btoes19healthcare
png
3-30
png
Copy of Copy of btoes19 (1)
png

Featured Content

  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Technology & Communications: IBM
  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities: Black & Veatch
  • Best Achievement in Cultural Transformation to deliver a high performing Operational Excellence culture: NextEra Energy
   
Operational Excellence Frameworks and Learning Resources, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation and more introductions
  • Intelligent BPM Systems: Impact & Opportunity
  • Surviving_the_IT_Talent_deficit.png
  • Six Sigma's Best Kept Secret: Motorola & The Malcolm Baldrige Awards
  • The Value-Switch for Digitalization Initiatives: Business Process Management
  • Process of Process Management: Strategy Execution in a Digital World

Popular Tags

Operational Excellence Business Transformation Business Improvement Business Excellence Process Management Continuous Improvement Process Optimization process excellence Leadership Process Improvement Premium Execution Excellence Change Management Enterprise Excellence Lean Enterprise Lean Lean Six Sigma BTOES18 Organizational Excellence Culture Transformation Capability Excellence Changing & Improving Company Culture Healthcare and Medical Devices Digital Transformation New Technologies Execution & Sustaining OpEx Projects end-to-end Business Transformation Agile Leadership Understanding & Buy-In Lack of/Need for Resources Adapting to Business Trends Changing Customer Demands Culture Failure to Innovate Integrating CI Methodologies Lack of/Need for Skilled Workers Lack of/Need for Support from Employees Maintaining key Priorities Relationships Between Departments BTOES HEALTH BTOES Video Presentations Customer Experience Exclusive Technology Process Automation Strategy Execution Innovation Manufacturing Report BPM Lean Manufacturing Agility Systems Engineering Process Design Awards BTOES Presentation Slides Healthcare thought leaders Insurance Robotic Process Automation Data Analytics Banking and Capital Markets Professional Services White Paper BTOES19 Consumer Products & Retail Customer Experience Excellence Operational Excellence Model Project Management value creation Automotive and Transportation data management innovation execution Artificial Intelligence digital operations Interview Operational Excellence Example Digital business expansion revenue growth Data Frameworks Learning organization Primary Measure of succes Six Sigma Workplace Analytics transformation journey BTOES17 Business Growth Communication HealthcareTechnologies Human Centered Design Innovation in Healthcare Kaizen Lean Culture NPS Net Promoter Score Oil and Gas Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Telecommunications Text Mining business process automation eHealth investment banking text analytics Announcement BTOES18 Award Winners BTOES18 Awards Client Feedback Strategy Communications Denial Management Education Hoshin Planning Hospitality & Construction Infographic Integrated Decision Approach Integrated Decision Making Jidoka Learning Resource Oil & Gas Recruitment Supply Chain Management Team The FAST lane master virtual resource management