Reinforce Change

how to reinforce change at workWhen it comes to change, you can’t just decide to start something new and expect it to fly. You need to support it and accelerate the results by aligning accountability and recognition systems to the major change you’re initiating. Start by aligning employee goals to the desired change. Then review individual results at team meetings and through regular performance reviews. Look for opportunities to “celebrate wins” and give credit to those individuals who are embracing and driving the change. Create financial (or other) incentives that are tied to real results and have clearly happened because of the new initiative. Putting these disciplines in place will both speed up and secure your success.

Change works (WELL!) when you:

Incorporate accountability/performance reviews. It’s not uncommon for managers to announce a big company change and overlook how important it is to put some “teeth” behind whatever it is. But to be effective, the goals of the change should be tied to greater company objectives. And together, all these goals should come with a means for achieving the desired outcomes, notably through accountability (or performance) reviews. In company meetings, there needs to be ample reporting on the progress of the change, how it’s affecting company goals, and how each individual’s performance relative to the change is impacting both specific and more general successes.

Establish special recognition programs. It may sound like a lot of effort upfront, but having an established, company-wide program that recognizes and rewards success is critical to reinforcing change. It gives people something to strive for, regardless of whether the recognition is verbal, written, monetary or otherwise. It also makes a statement about company values, demonstrating that your organization takes both its big decisions and achievement very seriously.

Surprise with “instant” reward. When it comes to a change you’ve initiated, surprising goal achievers or those who are simply doing exceptionally well with a particular aspect of their job demands a little “Caught Ya Creating Change” reward. Whether it’s maybe a $20 Starbucks card or the gift of a taking off early that day, such unexpected acknowledgements of success immediately motivate and reinforce what’s right about that individual’s role in the change process. It doesn’t have to be broadcast all over the company that you’re rewarding someone for something — just slapping the gift card in that person’s hand and saying, “Great job with the new change” is enough. Also, to support empowerment, relationships and company morale, get managers (not necessarily you) directly involved in the fun of giving employee rewards.

What are some ways to reward employees?

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