Does Organizational Change Have to Be Hard?

There are numerous well-known methodologies for change management. They are mainly based in logic, and historically they've worked to effect change.

However, the way we communicate as individuals and organizations has completely shifted in response to technology, and methods to enact change have advanced accordingly.

Continuous crowdsourcing platforms allow organizations to reimagine and realign their visions of success. Giving everyone a voice allows us to effectively lead change. We are more enabled than ever before to not just listen, but to respond.

Let's face it: If leaders ask for employee feedback but never respond to it, they might as well not ask at all. Ignoring feedback causes irritation and distrust, and it ultimately sends the message that you don't care about what your employees have to say.

Progressive leaders understand they don't have all the answers. They surround themselves with diverse groups of talent, and they listen to and respond to their employees' insights in order to drive their organizations forward. Conversations about change aren't limited to insider groups. In a listening culture, everyone is invited to participate, and their shared purpose allows the group to thrive.

In an era of constant digital disruption, it's vital to remain agile and responsive, but also human. People are every organization's most important resource, and their insights are a valuable advantage.

Feedback platforms function best when leaders can enact the following steps for change consistently and continuously:

1. Ignite Conversation

Identify areas within your organization that could benefit from change. Perhaps you've noted something that exists within a small subset of the workforce or a larger systemic trend. Pick one area you'd like to optimize and ask a question that will empower you with unique insights you don't already have.

2. Respond

Once you've received feedback, respond to let everyone know you've heard the key points your people have identified. Pay attention not only to the common trends within the answers you receive, but also to the outlying comments that will shed light on less common viewpoints.

3. Follow Through

Transformation does not happen all at once. Small and incremental change will be noticed and appreciated. The more you share your vision for the future of the organization, the stronger the sense of collective buy-in will be. This connection boosts productivity, increases retention, and creates a positive and motivated workforce.

4. Acknowledge

After action has been taken, reach out once again to acknowledge the key areas that have been changed and the future actions being put in place. Reaffirm your commitment to continuous feedback and continuous change.

Disruption does not need to be an obstacle to organizational progress. In fact, acknowledging and embracing our evolving communication landscape helps us to create agile organizations that thrive in the face of disruption.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Waggl blog.

Waggl is the most human way for organizations to crowdsource feedback.