Most companies are aware that adoption of change takes place at the grassroot level of an organization. Local Change Agents can assist with local implementation of change. So, if you have the right tool to identify these Change Agents, your project will benefit from this critical element of successful change.
A mistake that is easily made by Managers, is that they select Change Agents based on who they know best, who are available, or who have the most technical knowledge. Rather they should choose who have the right skills to influence others. Managers therefore need a tool to help them to find employees who have the capabilities, credibility, and trust to be successful in this role.
Accordingly, OrgMapper uses an employee nomination process that reveals those employees who are 1) seen by their colleagues as most capable to lead change; 2) best connected (meaning that their impact on others is the largest and they reach the most people in the company); and 3) motivated to take an active role in design and implementation of organizational change initiatives.
To build a strong network of local Change Agents, we based OrgMapper on a set of sociometric questions to nominate employees. Hence we look for those with the following key capabilities:
- Communication - Ability to gather information and communicate effectively about change initiatives
- Interpersonal - Ability to sustain interpersonal trust
- Mobilization - Ability to commit, motivate and inspire others
- Leadership - Behaves and is viewed as a role model and has good judgment of challenging situations
- Change readiness - Ability to be open and respond to change
A company that makes sure they have access to the right number of Change Agents, with the right capabilities in the right places will achieve value realization for their initiatives.
An OrgMapper project engages and encourages commitment from employees
OrgMapper uses a nomination process that encourages involvement and engagement of employees in the company’s change management program. Each nomination process provides employees with an opportunity to acknowledge managers, peers, and colleagues for their change capabilities. Employees who receive these nominations like this form of recognition and appreciation for the work they do. Overall, this process offers increased employee morale and loyalty to the company and its change initiatives.
OrgMapper projects consist of the following steps:
1. Announcement communications as a warm-up
Companies start by creating awareness of the OrgMapper project. They build buy-in and excitement around the Change Agent identification process by distributing customized communications to all employees. This could be a newsletter, an email from the CEO, poster materials, or explanations in person in team meetings. Key messages include expectations and clearly explained goals, as well as how the nomination process works and how employees who receive nominations can be involved in the organization’s goals, mission and success.
2 Employee nomination process
OrgMapper’s nomination process maximizes participation through confidentiality. We encourage all employees eligible to submit nominations to take part. Everyone remains anonymous and submits their nominations through an online survey.
3 Influencer invitation
OrgMapper reveals which employees receive the most nominations. These identified Influencers receive a confidential email requesting permission to provide their names to the management and participating in subsequent organizational programs. The analysis report names only those employees who have given their consent. Companies are transparent about the outcomes from OrgMapper and announce to the entire workforce the names of Change Agents who have accepted.
4 Change Agent network
To support the commitment of these Change Agents, companies ensure they provide a clear and precise description of this role and responsibility. Further, a training program and other resources - such as plans, templates, and tools - are also essential, so Change Agents can prove to implement change successfully.