Did you know that around 75% of organizational change initiatives fail?
As credit unions like yours face transformational changes, from shifting to universal associate branching models to bringing employees back for hybrid work, this can look like an uphill battle.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Your employees are key stakeholders in your credit union’s branching and workplace strategy and treating them as such can help you gain buy-in and insights into new strategic initiatives.
Over the next three articles, we’ll walk you through a set of proven change management steps using a shift to hybrid work as an example. Follow these steps and you’ll set yourself up for success!
Invite your employees to the table
Top-down management can set any change initiative off on a weak footing. It can take away employees’ sense of autonomy and ownership of their roles and can make them feel more like a cog in the machine than a valued member of the team.
In the case of a hybrid working strategy, who knows the day-to-day responsibilities, opportunities for growth, and pain points of your workplace better than the employees?
There are three clear benefits to involving your employees in the strategic process:
- Employees have deep organizational knowledge. They know the ins and outs of your credit union better than anybody else and are a valuable resource for strategic planning.
- You cultivate a sense of inclusion. When employees are heard and seen, and given responsibility and impact, they develop a sense of belonging.
- You gain buy-in. By contributing to your credit union’s strategic efforts, employees gain a sense of ownership over the organization’s success and have a vested interest in seeing this change initiative succeed.
This is especially important for hybrid working strategies, as many organizations are seeing resistance to a return to the office. Employees aren’t shown the value of returning, and in many cases the leadership hasn’t created an environment where the benefits of working in the office can be realized. Many employees find themselves asked to return to the office simply to attend zoom meetings.
This is a huge misalignment of perspective and strategy that can be prevented by involving your employees in this change.
How to involve employees
Implementation of this idea can be complicated. There needs to be a clear structure for how employees are integrated into the process, and it needs to be a two-way process where employees feel seen.
This can come in the form of employee surveys, focus groups, departmental interviews, committees, and representation in leadership meetings. It’s important that the process be transparent and that it fully captures how your employees feel about remote work, about working in in the office as it exists today, and what about the workplace could change to make returning an attractive value proposition.
Demonstrate that their voices are heard
Two-way feedback is critical to a successful change management initiative. Here at Momentum, we call this stage “Documenting the Mission.” It depends heavily on transparency and accountability.
The big ideas captured in a charter statement will make the business purpose of the change clear and underscore the benefits of the proposed changes. This will involve creating a list of ways success of the workplace changes can be measured upon project completion. Success should be measured from the perspective of individual workers, employee teams, and the overall organization. While the credit union’s leadership team will have a vision for the hybrid workplace defined at the project outset, the charter statement should be formalized after gathering employee team input gained during the survey process.
This is where you can bring employees’ ideas to life, as well as address changes that may not be popular. Unpopular changes can be either justified with a reasonable business case or reconsidered.
The important thing is that whether individual ideas are adopted or not, your staff as a whole feels a sense of ownership over the process. And through this ownership, they will have a vested interest in your credit union’s success.
Take the next step
Stay tuned for the part two, and in the meantime you can reach out to the Momentum team with any questions you have about successfully implementing change in your organization whether it be hybrid work, a new branching model, or something else.
And if you want to learn more about the current state of hybrid work in the credit union industry and how to implement it in your organization, check out the recent Filene whitepaper “The New Hybrid Credit Union Workplace: Culture, Performance, and a People-Centered Strategy” at filene.org/560.