Mona Valkiaranta: Succeed in change execution: 4 reasons to measure how people perceive change

Whether we are talking about changes in global ERP systems or new meeting instructions, the most important goal for all organisational changes is the actual changing of employees’ behaviour. 

Kimmo Vättö, Development Director at CCEA, wrote about the benefits of change measurement: “Successful change always requires a permanent change on an individual level because organisations do not change; people do. Measuring change progress from people perspective enables you to make proactive decisions and support activities with a precise focus.” 

Perception measurement could be described as an insurance of change execution that ensures all the needed action points are established and executed in time. The assessment of change execution is conducted during the change journey – not at the end of the project. This is vital, as no amount of preparation or planning provides the ability to forecast different groups perceptions of change. The following part presents the four most significant benefits of change measurement, that ensure and assure successful change. 

4 reasons to measure people’s perceptions of change:

  1. Measuring offers a way to predict the success of the change
  2. Targeted actions make the change process efficient and cost effective 
  3. The transparency that follows sharing the results increase trust 
  4. Feeling heard strengths people’s commitment to the change  

1. Measuring offers a way to predict the success of the change

Measuring people’s perceptions enables the change project team to ensure a successful change execution and the possibility to polish the plan and execution measures, as the project proceeds. With the help of perception measurement, we can plan actions that make sure that everyone understands the need for change, is committed to the change, and finally also changes their daily behaviors in the workplace accordingly.

2. Targeted actions make the change process efficient and cost effective 

The most effective ways of implementing change take time. With the assistance of perception measurement, we can spot the groups in the organisation that are finding the change especially challenging.  Targeted actions have proven to be the most efficient ways of influencing people’s attitudes and behaviors, as it enables relevant information sharing, interactive use of communication channels, and therefore, committing people to the change. These actions are also cost and time effective for the organisation, as they specifically target people in need of support and focuses less on the already satisfied groups. 

3. The transparency that follows sharing the results increase trust 

At an individual level transparency increases employees’ trust in the organisation. With the help of the Celkee Insight tool the responders do not only share their own perspectives, but also get to compare their own answers to those of their colleagues. Additionally, sharing thoughts under ones’ own name is highly encouraged as this creates a space where constructive feedback is welcomed, builds trust between the employees and managers, and nurtures the internal communication.

At first it is not uncommon that some might feel uncomfortable to share comments under one’s own name, but this usually gets easier when seeing other colleagues doing the same and management handling the feedback accordingly. This also increases the feeling of psychological safety and therefore well-being in the organisation. You can read more about psychological safety in organisations in the article by Mira Dahlman (COO and Principal Consultant at CCEA).

4. The feeling of being heard strengthens people’s commitment to the change

The option to share personal experiences and have one’s voice heard commits people to change and therefore also motivates appropriate behavioral change. When measuring people’s perceptions, it is vital that the individual feels that their responses are being thoroughly analysed, so that they are left with the feeling that their opinion and experiences matter. The feeling of being heard is a significant part of the procedural justice, which is a key part of successful change and a well-being organisation. This feeling of fairness is further supported after the results have been analysed by sharing what actions will be implemented to improve conditions. By doing so, we ensure that the people will continue to share their thoughts as the change execution continues. 

Please find more information about how change perception measurement allows successful change execution from Kimmo Vättö’s blog. Additionally, you can read more about change measurement in CCEA’s CHANGE webinar: Change portfolio leadership and measurement. AFRY’s digital change program manager, Mari Barck and CCEA’s principal consultant Juha Lindfors will be discussing the topics.