Projects. Do you recognize the following situation? Your project is finished on time and within budget, but the results are not quite what you expected. There is unrest among your colleagues and every meeting starts with complaints. It turns out that there is not enough support for the project within your organization. What can you do?
Make it clear why change is necessary
Your colleagues should understand the reason behind the change. You could communicate about this during a kick-off, in the company newsletter, or on the intranet. Another good idea is to talk to people face to face about the project to spread awareness, but be sure to also have a central, broadcast message somewhere that you think is appropriate.
Also, do make sure that you make the goal of the project the focus, so that people know what they are rallying behind. But the journey to get there is almost as important, so do also emphasize the excitement of the project getting off the ground.
Involve your colleagues in the project
Involve your colleagues in the change and give them responsibility within the project. This will give you allies and momentum within the company. Identify and set up a team comprising of colleagues from various departments and involve them with group discussions and common agreements on important decisions. If you wish, you can discuss your colleagues’ contributions and results during assessments.
Train your colleagues
Once your project team has finished their part and implemented the change, it is time to train your other colleagues in the new working method. To ensure this is a successful endeavour, you need to provide clear instructions and reference material so that it is clear how things should be done – even after the project is finished.
Give personal attention
For the individual colleague, the most important thing to know is how their work will change and what the consequences will be. If you notice that someone is having trouble with the change, a personal chat during office rounds can help considerably. Try to translate the company and department’s interests to the individual colleague’s interests. This helps not only your project or implementation to be in place more smoothly, but it also builds more support for the idea.
Provide a point of contact
For any further questions you may get, designate a contact person who can help colleagues with their questions. This could be a key user, or someone who was involved in implementing the change, or yourself!