Employee engagement tips for successful change

Lyndon Evershed
Written by
Lyndon Evershed
1 December 2021

Adapting to change

We have an opportunity to revitalise and communicate the culture, brand behaviours and values of our organisation.

To emerge post pandemic and to continue high levels of engagement and productivity, your people will need to feel part of a team and culture – remaining connected, even while working apart.

To address this, companies need a cultural change – which is one of the four ‘key enablers’ for employee engagement of the MacLeod Review of 2009. Culture change can positively impact employee engagement – if communicated properly. While internal policies and procedures will identify how your company delivers and communicates change, a rushed, unplanned change can seriously damage the effectiveness of a department, its activities and reputation.

HR can help propel transformation and facilitate positive change. By adapting to change and prioritising people engagement, HR will be central to facilitating collaboration, increasing innovation and productivity.


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Six recommendations

Play your key role in the knowledge exchange

HR can bridge the gap between the high-level strategists behind change, and the workers who need to embrace it for company success. Change projects introduced with a limited understanding of day-to-day working practices will fail. That’s where HR is invaluable. You understand employee priorities and challenges and have insights into what their daily lives look like on the ground.

Gain complete buy-in from the management team

Knowing how to manage change effectively doesn’t come naturally to all. Too often change decisions are made and rolled out without a solid plan – with little thought given to the affect such changes have on everyone across the organisation, particularly those tasked with implementation. While HR can set the framework, they can’t control the day-to-day of every team, so manager training, commitment and influence is vital.

Consider creating resources to assist management when implementing change, both online and offline. This could include templated digital communications, onboarding packs and incentives.

No change management project will work without effective communication

To ensure you achieve your change management goals, you need the right messaging to your people in formats that they’ll pay attention to. And you need to ensure the information you share is received and accepted.

That requires more than sending out an email here and there. You need an overall strategy for communication that includes determining how to get the right information to each employee, and track whether they’ve engaged with it. Offline communications can deliver more impact and reinforce the sticky points when implementing change.

In large organisations, that’s no small task. Initiating a good system to manage your communications, with an inventory of promotional products your team can utilise to reward positive behaviours – will improve the success of your strategy.

Omnichannel communications can support your change

Communicating across multiple channels, personalising communications, and providing change stakeholders with the information they need, when they want it, is good communication.

However, before rushing headlong into firing off thousands of messages to staff via SMS, instant messenger, WhatsApp groups, your intranet, MS Teams and so on, a word of warning is necessary: if your omnichannel communication strategy is not connected, it can do more harm than good.

It is critical that you develop a comprehensive communications plan, with communication practices agreed by all. Discuss and identify the communication tools that your people want to use. Build a framework in which they can be used most effectively to engage your people during the change process.

Move away from flexible working to smart working

A fixed working day, with set, allowable variations and adaptions to the work schedule thrown in, is no longer enough. “Presenteeism” used to rule, but no longer with large numbers of the workforce working remotely.

Empower your people and trust them to manage their workload. Replace flexible working, with agile working practices where individuals have genuine autonomy over their working pattern. This is not just a change in the employment contract; it is a revolution in work culture.

Consider results-only measurement systems and autonomous working schemes where employees have high degrees of freedom and are rewarded for their efforts.

Work alongside facilities teams to create an activity-based workspace which allows for people to move around the building depending on the task they are performing. Provide them with the equipment and communications to support this way of working.

Reward contributions and acknowledge involvement

It’s well understood that it’s not organisations that change; it’s the people in them that drive change. Therefore, successfully guide your people through change and reward the adoption of new behaviours and routines necessary. This can be as simple as spot rewards, milestone achievements, or a personal letter from C-Level thanking them for their efforts.

Manage, address and resolve resistance throughout by employing a series of tactics that ensure people are given a chance to acquire the skills necessary (with the appropriate information, tools, equipment and support), and are acknowledged after.


We can help!

At Limelight we help HR professionals with creative concepts and practical solutions to engage your people during change. Through great communication and recognition of your people, employee engagement will increase, as will the willingness of your people to adapt to change. If you would value our assistance to improve your people engagement, we’re happy to help.

Limelight can help you communicate your organisational change and ensure your employees are engaged with bespoke branded merchandise – sourced, designed and delivered wherever it’s required.

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