Change Management

7 Change Management Activities to Minimize Employee Resistance

7-Change-Management-Activities-You-Need-to-Know

Change Management activities are necessary to overcome employees’ resistance to change. Change enablers at an organization are responsible for making the workforce efficient enough to sustain change and excel during the process.

We see employees undergoing training but most of the time these trainings are mostly technical. It also fails to communicate the advantages of change which results in a lack of motivation and cooperation.

Employees need to embrace the cliché that goes a little something like “Change is the only constant”.

To convey that you can conduct some fun change management activities which will grab the attention of your employees as such activities need a higher level of engagement.  It will also help your employees to comprehend the company’s vision.

What are Change Management Activities?

Change Management activities are the exercises and games that motivate employees to embrace the change. It helps them to understand the value of change and its relevance to avoid resistance to change.

The following exercises and games are the example of change management activities which will help your employee to understand the importance of their cooperation during change.

The following exercises and games are examples of activities contributing to effective change management that help employees understand the importance of their cooperation during change.

Top Change Management Activities

The following activities and change management games will help your employees understand the importance of their cooperation during change.

1. The Alien at Dinner

Ask an employee to act as an Alien in the human dinner party meanwhile the remaining employees should act normal on the dining table.

The job of the alien is to note the behavior of humans and understand their behavior. During this exercise, the alien must list all the things that humans did on the table.

The-Alien-at-Dinner

Post this activity, the facilitator should ask a few questions to the alien, such as:

  • What fascinating thing did you notice?
  • Was everyone acting in a similar fashion at the dinner table?
  • Do you think any change is required? If yes, then explain why and how to implement it?

This game will make your employees:

  • Appreciate diversity.
  • Analyze the good and bad aspects of a process.
  • Think that anything can be improved and the long-lasting traditional methods are not always the right way of doing things.

Takeaway: Any long-lasting process can be improved, provided employees should have an open mind towards change and an eye to see the positive and negative aspects of the process.

2. Change your seat

For this activity, you place an object at the center of the room and ask your team to sit around it. Now, your team members have to change seats at a regular interval and note what changes they observed about the object. 

Change-your-seat

Further, they have to note what they feel while changing from one seat to another. Continue this process for 2 rounds and let your employees state how they felt at each instance.

This activity has multiple advantages and implies many things, such as:

  • By changing positions, they get a different viewpoint on the object and each viewpoint adds value as it provided them with a completely new view of the object. Similarly, organizational change management activities provide multiple perspectives to your employees which will offer immense knowledge and will boost employee performance in the long run.
  • By continuously changing the position they learn that change is a continuous process and at each instance, they learn something new.

Takeaway: Change is a continuous process and with the change, employees can grow their knowledge by learning different perspectives.

3. Cross Your Arms

This is one of the easiest change management exercises, where participants cross their arms normally- that is they fold their arms. Let them stay in this position for a considerable period and then ask them to cross their arms the other way.

Cross-Your-Arms

Let the participants be in this position for a while and after a few minutes let everyone relax.

Post this activity you have to ask your employees a few questions:

  • How did they feel during the first posture?
  • What changes did they feel shifting to the second posture?
  • How comfortable were they with the second posture?

You have to pose this question to know how your employees felt during the whole process. This game teaches your employees how change could be uncomfortable at first but as time goes by, they will feel comfortable with it.

Takeaway: Initially change could be uncomfortable but with passing time you will get comfortable with it and will be benefited.

4. The Four P’s

Create 4 columns on a whiteboard and tag each column with the words project, purpose, particulars, and people. Create teams and ask them to prepare relevant answers against each column for organizational change.

The-Four-Ps

After a few minutes start to take a response from each group and fill the most relevant ones in the column. The whiteboard should have answers on these lines:

  • Project:- List of imminent changes that could shape the organization for the good.
  • Purpose:- What can be achieved by the change? Will it make the business process smooth? Will it make the workforce efficient? And so on...
  • Particulars:- Discuss all that is needed to enable the change. Requirements like: type of training, type of software, and the kind of approach that might be required to enable change.
  • People:- Employees should recognize which job role needs some serious change and how they can achieve it.

By doing this, you will be able to convey the importance of change within the organization and could set the right expectations of your employees. You will also be able to make your employees realize how change could propel their careers.

Takeaway: Learning why and how of change management process can help employees to realize the importance of change.

5. Bounce Back

This is a fun game, all you have to do is gather employees in an open space and ask them to throw a bouncy ball against the ground. Continue this process for a while and then ask them, if the ball, at any instance, did not bounce back.

Bounce-Back

The answer to this question is obviously going to be “NO”.

You can use this as an analogy to convey that just like the bouncing ball they will also overcome all the hurdles and challenges during the change process.

It is not mandatory to conduct this exercise in an open space, you can show this activity via a video or a slide but doing it physically put across the point.

Takeaway: No matter what the change, with time,you will bounce back and would become better than ever in your job.

Find out how Apty DAP can boost the success of your Change Management Initiatives.

6. The Ups and Downs of change

This is one of the best change management activities to understand the state of mind of your employees for change.

Gather employees in a room and ask them to stand on a horizontal line that is drawn in the center of the room. Jot down a few keywords related to change like digital transformation, business process, change management, digital adoption, and training, etc. before the exercise begins.

For each keyword that you say, participants have to either move forward if they feel positive about it or they have to move backward if they feel negative about it.

The-Ups-and-Downs-of-change

Let this game run for 10 rounds and after that, you will notice the room is in a zig-zag form.

Now, go to the employees who stepped back and ask them which keyword made them take a step back.  Understand their resistance and try and reason it out with them as gently and constructively as possible, so as to get their buy-in. 

Takeaway: Resistance to change could hinder the growth of the company and the employees. Embracing it with open arms will boost growth.

7. New Company

This is an elaborate change management activity for employees that might eat into a considerable amount of their time but it is a practical way to showcase the necessity of change.

New-Company

Things you have to do:

  • Bring all the departments together, in one place.
  • Pick one or two players from each department and form a team of 10.
  • Ask them to come up with an idea for an imaginary new company.
  • Then ask them to create a detailed presentation, by elaborating that idea.
  • Now shuffle team members around and ask them to prepare the presentation once again, you can do this process for 3-4 times.
  • Now, let all the groups discuss the process, roadmap, and plan that they laid in their final draft.
  • Allow them to share what new did they learned each time they changed the group.

It will nurture the idea of change in your employees and let them look at change through the lens of business leaders.  Further, it makes them understand that with each change the process gets better.

Takeaway: Change is a continuous process and with each change, one must strive to make the organization better. The process would become smooth only when every employee gets involved.

Change management exercises for remote workers

The following are some important organizational change exercises and team-building activities to deal with change.

A. Align on Goals

The first thing to do is to establish a reason for the change. Usually, when you try to implement change in a remote setting, you will encounter some resistance from employees who are not ready or want to make changes in their way of doing things. So, it's important to clear your objection and the reason for the change.

Set up clear lines of responsibilities and competencies that are scoped appropriately for each team or individual; informally review accomplishments either through Skype or phone calls at key milestones or goals achieved so everyone can move forward with confidence. Keep in mind that accountability is not just managing problems but also developing solutions!

B. Focus on Employees

Change in the organization affects the employees more than anyone else. Therefore, it is good to ensure that every team member is on board. Focusing the change on employees will make them feel valued, guaranteeing cooperation.

Perform Change Management icebreaker activities so that employees can express their concerns about the changes taking place within your organization. Encourage employees to communicate openly with managers so they can get the answers they need.

C. Encourage Participation by All Team Members

Change can bring several uncertainties to the team. You can allow every employee to participate and influence the process. This is a strategy to ensure that everyone knows what is happening, reducing the chances of resistance. One way is to allow them to contribute to how the change process will be implemented.

Ask for feedback from your employees about how you can improve your organization's culture or work environment. Listen to what they have to say and consider implementing their suggestions. Find ways to make changes that will benefit everyone in the company.

D. Foster feedback

Your team is an integral part of digital transformation, it is important to encourage and receive feedback freely throughout the transformation process. This can include surveys, online quizzes, focus groups, or soliciting responses from other company communication channels.

Create a digital form where your employees can submit questions or concerns. With this information, leaders can help employees on an individual basis, or if they see a common theme, create a new change management training idea addressing frequently asked questions and common problems.

Change Management in the New Normal

We are living in a world loaded with uncertainties and change is happening at a rapid rate. With so many variables, it is but expected that organizations want their workforce to be productive and efficient despite working out of different locations.

To achieve this, conducting the above examples of change management activities might not be enough. Companies are investing in technologies and software that will enable better communication.

Training employees on new technology and providing with facilities to stay focused is also becoming increasingly important. Companies are trying to build employee engagement through training and development. Perform change management activities to train employees to use these new technologies.

So, to achieve that, companies are investing in technologies and software that will enable better communication. Training employees on new technology and providing with facilities to stay focused is also becoming increasingly important.

Change Management on the Go

Change is not easy and having an open mindset towards is a difficult task. Change management exercises or activities like these will help you to nurture the mindset for change within your organization.

All these change management activities will only reap rewards if the upper-management has an incredible change management strategy and that can only happen by adopting a better organizational Change Management model that fits your organization's goals.

For a seamless and smooth change to take place, investing in a Digital Adoption Platform is absolutely necessary as it helps you tackle multiple issues on a single tool. Get in touch with us to know more on how Apty can help you with your change management efforts.

Experience Smoother, Faster Software Change Management with Apty

FAQs on Change Management Activity

1. Which activity is suitable for managing resistance to change?

Communicate to employees about change. You can explain how the change will be beneficial to them. Additionally, you will have to provide a clear implementation plan to ensure that everyone knows what is required of them. With the needed information, change management will be a smooth process. 

2. What are some major change management activities? 

  • Hold regular meetings with employees where you discuss the progress of the changes implemented in the company. Emphasize the positive aspects of organizational change activities and encourage employees to share their input on how best to implement them. 
  • Offer rewards for positive changes in behavior and attitude. People like being rewarded for doing something well, so let them know that when you see an improvement, then reward them accordingly. 
 

Originally posted on August 28, 2020

Krishnan Kaushik
Written by Krishnan Kaushik

Krishnan is a Marketer and Content Crafter. He has an in-depth understanding of Digital Adoption, Transformation, and Enterprise applications that helps business to generate business outcomes. In his former life, he was an IIoT & Automation engineer. You can find him trying new recipes, riding a bike, and wondering about the most complex object on the face of the earth i.e Human Brain.

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