Performance Management

Not So Scary Tips for an Effective Change Management Process

Stacie Grasberger

Stacie Grasberger is a Manager at Educe supporting Cornerstone OnDemand implementations across multiple industries including Financial Services, Professional S…

In today’s fast-paced business environment, organizations must have a strategic change management plan before they roll out a new performance management process. The change management plan should help guide employees through the new process and give them the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

Here are five steps organizations should consider as they build out a change management campaign for their performance management process:

#1: Secure buy-in from leadership and middle management

It is imperative for organizations to get buy-in from senior leadership before they roll out a new performance management process to an entire organization. However, companies should not ignore middle management either. They will ultimately be responsible for communicating the changes to the largest number of employees. By asking middle management for their input, they will be a part of the process and act as champions of the change to help alleviate and manage employee resistance.

TIP: Get senior leaders on board by creating a vision that senior leaders cannot ignore. Provide examples as to how the new process will add value to employees, managers and leaders and tie in broader organizational goals. Involve them in the process of creating that vision so they will get behind it, support it, and embody it to other employees.

#2: Create the change plan

Senior leadership and HR need to work together to select the appropriate change agents who will lead the charge to address performance process changes and identify the key stakeholders who will be affected by the change. Then, the change agents should work together closely to design and create the necessary action plan involved in actuating the vision. By establishing these key audiences, organizations can develop a framework that ensures the process is supported by the correct employees and the plan is targeting the correct audiences.

TIP: Create a template that can be used to document the roles and responsibilities of each change agent.

Owner Team Support
Michael Smith Human Resources Create training materials
Jennifer Richardson Internal                Communications Develop internal communication materials
Lauren Henderson Senior Leader Host in-office meetings

#3: Deliver communication plan

To help support a smooth transition, organizations must identify the appropriate channels to communicate the changes and build a timeline for when those changes will be announced. Communication should occur often and gradually. Organizations should build a coalition of supportive leaders to help deliver the key messages and garner support for the new process.

Get the word out!

1.) Create visual signage across each office. Include details about the new performance management process and provide a timeline for when the changes will be implemented.

2.) Print out postcards and deliver them to each employee’s desk. Include information about the changes and provide a link where employees can go to learn more.

3.) Collaborate with senior leadership to host in-office meetings where employees can learn about the new process, ask questions and provide feedback. If possible, the message can be delivered at a scheduled town hall or company meeting.

4.) Include remote employees. Hold webinars for all remote employees and mail any materials that are given to employees in the office.

5.) Create a video tutorial to walk employees through the new process and technology. Show employees how to submit quarterly reviews, create check-ins, etc.

6.) Leverage your Talent Management tools. Many platforms have tools to help users become acclimated with a new feature or functionality within the platform. Employees can use these tools to customize their own navigation within the interface. Consider rolling this out for users when you initially launch the new performance functionality to users and managers.

#4: Anticipate roadblocks

A successful change management process includes preparation for any roadblocks that might hinder or delay the performance management process. The team should be aligned with the timeline and take into consideration any conflicts with other organizational-wide programs such as product launches, company-wide events, etc. If other programs/events are scheduled around the same time, senior leaders must evaluate the user threshold for handling change during any specific time period.

TIP: If a company-wide calendar of events does not currently exist, consider working with senior leaders and across departments (Product, Marketing, Finance, HR, etc.) to build a schedule of important dates. Make the calendar accessible in your company intranet, so teams can go in and make updates when events/projects are scheduled.

#5: Monitor the new process and measure the impact of the change

Work does not stop once the new performance management process is introduced. Change agents must proactively follow-up with end users to give them an opportunity to provide feedback on the program. Use the feedback to make any enhancements to the process or system. When communicating the new changes, be sure to let users know the new features have come from direct feedback so employees feel encouraged and a part of the process.

Collect feedback and promote new enhancements:

1.) Hold follow-up training and working sessions: Use this time to educate end users about any new features within your performance management process. Additionally, check in with employees to collect feedback and make sure they are using the new software correctly.

2.) Create a survey: Build a survey to collect feedback on how employees feel about the new process. Ask questions relating to the timeline of the release, the technology used, the instructions provided, etc.

3.) Send out internal communications: Send an email to your organization or include a section in your monthly newsletter to collect feedback and announce any new features.

4.) Host focus groups: Organize volunteer-based focus groups to collect feedback on the process and gauge how employees feel about new enhancements made to the process. Make sure the focus groups have a variety of users from employees to managers to executives to get a wide range of diverse feedback.

5.) Make adjustments: No change plan is entirely perfect. Use the feedback you receive and adjust where necessary. This will further garner commitment from employees and allow your change plan to mold to the needs of the organization.







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