Imagine that someone is helping you plan a barbecue—but they don’t ask what foods you want to serve, or how many guests you are inviting.
You wake up the morning of the event and they hand you strange cooking tools, recipes you don’t recognize and ingredients you have never worked with before, and expect you to cook the main meal. They rearrange your deck furniture, play music you don’t recognize, replace all your favorite drink recipes.
What are the chances that the barbecue will be successful? That you will be enthusiastic and engaged in your cooking and serving? That the guests will have a good time?
While this scenario sounds like the nightmare many of us have the night before a party, in reality it is the way that many companies implement cultural or organizational change programs.
Few companies think to ask employees to be involved in the design of significant cultural or organizational change programs. Instead they hand employees a series of new processes and procedures, a new set of tools or company values, and expect them to “accept and implement.” Is it any wonder that the majority of change programs fail? Or that, when confronted with a change program, many employees opt to leave instead of helping move the company forward? This is especially true for the newest generation of workers, known as millennials.
“When it comes to the design phase of change initiatives, it’s absolutely critical that millennials feel that they have a voice and a vote in the initiative and pathway to get there,” notes Jason Dorsey, millennials expert, author, speaker and a researcher at The Center for Generational Kinetics.
“Millennials have come of age in a time where they expect to contribute and be part of the conversation....
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