The Third Element of the Change Management Journey: Collaboration

  • October 08, 2021
People having a remote video conference

In the first blog of this series, Nikki Milgate introduced the four elements of the change management journey. This article brings us to the third element – Collaboration. Collaboration involves working with others to produce or create a specific outcome. Therefore, the success of any change requires collaboration between stakeholders. Discord or misunderstanding can derail the focus and intention of a project and must be addressed to facilitate effective collaboration.

Organizations and employees have experienced immense change since the emergence of the pandemic in March 2020. Companies continue to shift their operating models to accommodate the increased reliance on digital technology, changing employee expectations and requiring new ways of working. Leaders discovered that different skills are needed to establish trust, motivate teams, and engage with employees in remote settings. Employees must adapt to organizational changes, new processes, and different work environments. Yet, they're still expected to perform and balance their work and personal lives. On top of that, digital fatigue is becoming more prevalent as companies delay plans to return to the office and social distancing measures remain in place.

As we live through the ultimate change journey, it's understandable that nearly 8 in 10 adults say that the coronavirus pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives. As the pandemic persists, many people experience the adverse effects of chronic stress on their physical, mental, and emotional health. In addition to the impacts on personal wellbeing, the continued changes strain relationships and can impair one's ability to focus and perform at work. If the effects of these ongoing challenges are not addressed, companies will likely face growing losses in productivity and talent retention — if they haven't already.

With approximately 40% of the workforce worldwide considering leaving their jobs due to lack of support from their employers, it has never been more critical for companies to invest in the wellbeing of their employees. While these strategies protect employees, they also protect companies from a potential mass exodus of their most valuable resources.

Organizations used to follow a top-down leadership model, making important decisions in a silo, offering basic health benefits, and promising a 401(k), with the expectation of unconditional compliance and loyalty from employees in return. This one-size-fits-all approach is no longer effective at attracting or retaining experienced people. Employees are looking for collaboration from their employers — they want flexible work arrangements, transparent communication, individual opportunities, recognition for their contributions, strong leaders, rich diversity and inclusion programs, and exceptional support for their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

According to Forbes, "Nothing determines business success (or failure) more than workplace culture. This is especially true with employee health and wellbeing… low employee wellbeing is leading to poor physical and mental health that's eroding profits through lower employee engagement, higher turnover, poorer customer service and higher healthcare costs."

Companies that prioritize their employees' needs and offer benefits and programs to support their wellbeing send the message that they value, respect, and genuinely want the best for their workforce. Companies that invest in their workforce will see financial benefits and improved productivity, as well as healthier, dedicated, and more engaged employees.

If you are considering beginning the change management journey for your company and leveraging the four principles to establish a new organizational culture and retain your talent effectively, NTT DATA Services can help. NTT DATA Service's Workforce Readiness Consulting practice helps organizations with a structured approach to Change Management.

This is the fourth blog in a series of five addressing the four elements of the Change Management journey. Be on the lookout for the final blog in the series written by Workforce Readiness consultants from their unique perspectives. What does the future of your workforce look like?

The rapidly changing workforce underscores the need for human-centric, digital-forward solutions for organizations in all industries. Our Workforce Readiness Consulting practice helps drive organizational success with future-focused talent and change strategies. Learn more about how we help our clients thrive at the human side of business.

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Lynne Gugliotta

Lynne Gugliotta is a Principal Consultant in the Workforce Readiness Consulting practice at NTT DATA Services. Her areas of expertise include training, communications, and engagement for employee transformations across multiple industries. She also teaches yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.

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