August 27, 2015 Anil Saxena

When Does Your Workforce Need A Transformation?

When Does Your Workforce Need a Transformation?

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about employee retreats – and why they are so effective in bringing about transformations for your workforce. But why does your company need a transformation in the first place? What unique scenarios require transformations?
Specific needs will be different for every business, but there are some certain situations where this idea of “transformation” is so much more important than training alone – or, maybe more accurately, regular training just won’t cut it.
Transformations, as discussed in the last post, are major changes to ways of thinking, not just ways of doing things – so when would this kind of change be most necessary? Here are a few examples:

1. New Leadership
When a new leader comes on board, it can be tough to gain the respect of existing team members. Additionally, it can be difficult for those employees to fully understand the necessity of bringing in this new leader, changing the group dynamic, and relatively upsetting the “natural order” they’ve gotten used to.
In a situation like this, the desired transformation is from an attitude of adversity to an attitude of acceptance, respect, and collaboration.
Through an effective retreat, the team would have a chance to get to know this new leader, address concerns in an open and supportive environment, and hopefully get on the same page about why this leader has been brought on board.
By taking the time to alleviate any apprehension from the team before normal “workday” operations are affected by the presence of a new leader, the team is transformed without taking a toll on productivity.
2. Merger/Acquisition
When two companies come together through a merger or acquisition, there’s plenty of room for difficulty. Operations and expectations within the two companies will certainly have some variation, and the necessary “transformation” involves finding a new standard that everyone can agree on.
Achieving this kind of transformation takes significant preparation, as well as some clear-cut standards for how you want the final, “combined” operations to look like.
The change in thinking involves letting go of “the way things used to be” and internalizing the need for operations that meet the new goals of the merged company.

3. Broad Restructuring
Sometimes companies have to go through massive changes. It could be an entire shift in products or services offered, an update in systems that affects the entire company, new employee standards, or anything else that impacts many people across different departments.
The transformation(s) involved might be as large and complicated as the company changes themselves, but much like in a merger, it’s important that everyone understands and internalizes the need for the changes, and overcomes any resistance they might have to the new ways of doing things.
4. Creating New Energy
Over time, people can get complacent. They may settle into a less-than-ideal pattern of thinking or behavior, and they need a bit of a transformation to refresh their enthusiasm and/or focus.
These kind of transformations will happen a little differently for every team or individual, but no matter what, it’s all about getting down the essential principles the company operates by, and getting everyone excited about their individual contributions – and the successes they can achieve as a group.
These are just a few examples that could necessitate the transformations that retreats provide. In any scenario that requires a large-scale change not just to the way employees operate, but also the way they think, transformation is essential.
Anil Saxena is the President of Cube 2.14, an organizational development consulting firm that works with clients to increase both customer and employee engagement while decreasing turnover, improving customer retention, and increasing profitability within organizations.

Saxena is a certified High Impact coach and trainer and a Joint Application Design facilitator. He is also certified by both Rush Systems and IBM as a focus group facilitator. He is an inaugural member of Northwestern University’s Learning and Organizational Change program, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.


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