Change Management: Reinforcing Change

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Once a change has been planned and implemented, the work isn't done. In order for change to become the new way of working in an organization, we must consistently reinforce the change until it becomes the new normal. This is the purpose of the third phase of change management, reinforcing change. This phase includes measuring changes in behavior, corrective action plans, reinforcement mechanisms, individual and group recognition
approaches, success celebrations, and after action reviews.

Measuring changes in behavior and corrective action plans may sound a little harsh, but they are actually focused on making improvements in the organization. We want to know whether people are operating in the new ways, and when they are not, how we can help them to operate in those new ways. If these components are focused in a constructive, positive way, they can go a long way toward improving the employee experience.

Reinforcement and recognition are equally important. When we have a new way of working, we want to provide constant reminders of that new approach so that people know how to succeed in their work. When they do, we want to recognize their excellence and encourage it. Excellence is contagious.

Success celebrations are also essential in making a new way of working the normal way of working. When we do things well, and especially when we do them even better after receiving new data analytics tools, it's worth reflecting on why we are working better. Going from the old way to the new way is not an easy journey. It's worth stopping and smelling the roses every now and then.

Our final step in reinforcing change is the after action review, a process in project management that reviews what worked well in the change management efforts and what we would do differently the next time. This is our way of getting better and better at preparing the organization for change. Our ability to constantly improve the way we adapt is a key indicator of success in future projects. Learning from what we did well and what we can do better enables us to perform better with every new initiative.

The time and money we spend on our data analytics project is intended to give us more and better knowledge so that we can build a better performing business. With those aspirations in mind, it just makes sense to ensure that the people and the organization are equally prepared for increasing success in the future.

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