An increasing number of modern-day organizations recognize that investments in customer service improvements only address one aspect of the end-to-end customer experience. Customers are interacting, virtually or in person, with different employees on multiple and ongoing occasions. One of the best ways to build stronger and more loyal customer relationships—and thus drive performance results—is to ensure all employees within an organization have a collaborative focus on, and long-term dedication to, completely rethinking how to support the entire customer journey.
Unfortunately, sticking to comfort zones and resisting change are all too common. The reason: cultures and behaviours only change when people do. More often than not, leaders must take the first few steps to show the way, but where to begin? In the third most-viewed video on TED.com titled “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” author Simon Sinek explains that we are inspired by leaders who “start with why.” Great leaders create an emotional connection with employees to make sure they understand why change is needed in the first place.
Employees who are well-informed about a leader’s need or desire to change, instead of feeling pressured or being directed to follow along with change, are far more likely to become engaged during a transformational process. Once employees understand and accept why change is happening, building a momentum of progress with measurable results becomes much easier:
Three Key Steps to Accelerate Cultural and Behavioural Change
- Find the employee group with the greatest leverage point. Every organization has a group of employees with the greatest influence over the rest of the employee population. For example, within the automotive industry, the district manager has the greatest leverage point. Identify the leverage point and focus the majority of your change initiatives there.
- Concentrate only on those behaviours that will drive the highest returns. Don’t try to change all behaviours at once. Change the fewest number of things with the fewest number of people and this will help accelerate results.
- Focus on making one change and celebrate achievements. Positive feelings breed positive results. Rather than critique failure, shine a light on the most positive role models who are making a difference.
Driving cultural and behavioural change involves much more than a communications initiative or a process improvement endeavour. Instead, the most effective change management strategies require informing, building relationships with and engaging employees at every level—which, in turn, can accelerate much-needed cultural and behavioural shifts across the organization while maximizing the effectiveness of customer value and experience management investments.