How to Prep Your Culture for Unexpected Change

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Planned change is a challenge for any organization. As leaders, we have to work hard to plan and to bring every employee along. But no matter how daunting planned change is—at least we have time to create an action plan, and a shot at controlling the message.

When an unexpected change or organizational trauma hits—such as an unexpected financial crisis, an acquisition, a shake-up or death in leadership, or a natural or manmade disaster—we have no such luxury. We must scramble to get ahead of changes as best we can, and often fall short. If there are cracks in our culture, unexpected change can quickly expand them into chasms.

Our best chance for leading our culture through trauma lies in having a resilient culture, to begin with. Building up a culture of feedback, communication, and trust will create an insurance policy against unexpected change.

How can you do create a resilient culture? One answer lies in a great coaching and feedback platform. There are four key ways you can use talent management software to proactively build up your organizational resilience:

Create a shared social system for sharing information

Feedback systems link employees together through peer-to-peer feedback and recognition moments. Psychologists tell us when employees feel invested in a social system, they take on shared responsibility for maintaining that system—and are more likely to help stabilize, not disrupt, during times of change or crisis.

Build in a support framework

Coaching and feedback systems—particularly those that encourage peer-to-peer and manager-to-employee mentoring relationships—will give employees a place to turn for answers during times of turmoil or change.

Establish trust through continuous, reciprocal feedback

If you have a talent management system where employees are accustomed to hearing honest feedback, they are more likely to trust that system, and more conditioned to accept communication and recommendations during times of change.

Identify employees who can help you to triage change

If you examine feedback and recognition data carefully, you can identify linchpin employee on your teams who can help you to plan for and recover from change, by socializing it, communicating, and championing policies. Find these employees and begin with them as you try to repair the damage from unexpected change.

Are you taking the necessary steps to protect your organization against unexpected change? Do you have the technology to build a resilient organizational culture? Check out our new guide to
Building a Change-friendly Culture with Coaching and Feedback.