Why use a Change Readiness Assessment tool?
A change readiness tool allows you to quickly and easily capture the opinions and perspectives from a broad, representative group of stakeholders.
We know from the huge body of research and best practice that the biggest predictor of change success is the degree to which our stakeholders are committed to it. This defines the lengths they will go to support it. The approach commonly adopted is to broadcast, using various media such as email, video broadcasts, town hall briefings, even glossy brochures, setting out the case for change in order to convince people to follow. This is of course, very sensible and far better than nothing it but it tends to be focused in one direction and it’s difficult or impossible to really know how well it’s landed and therefore how the stakeholders are feeling about it.
This is where a purpose built change readiness survey can fill the gap. Of course, we would highly recommend taking the time to have well structured one-to-one discussions with the key stakeholders to gain their feedback and insights into how they are feeling about the change. In practice though this can bring a few challenges if used in isolation:
- If the number of stakeholders (people we need to influence) is large then this can be difficult to do effectively at scale
- Depending on how the meetings are set up and who is involved, there may be a tendency for the interviewee to hold back on important information or not be completely honest about how they are feeling.
- It can be surprisingly difficult to analyse and distil the responses into a coherent set of data that is sufficiently useful to inform the resulting engagement strategy. In other words answering the question, so what can we do about it?
- If the process is to be repeated periodically (recommended to see how the engagement strategy is working) it can be difficult to draw like for like comparisons from the data.
What does a Change Readiness Assessment tool do?
The tool does the hard work for you of running the process, from survey (using an easy, secure online link) to results. It captures participant responses in a Likert scale and applies the latest science and best practice to give a point in time data based benchmark of how the group is perceiving the change, in our case measuring against our 5E Model for effective change.
It allows you to quickly identify and focus attention on the underlying themes that, once addressed, will have the biggest impact on the target group’s feelings towards the change and therefore their likelihood of engaging in it. Most importantly it highlights how to increase engagement. It brings a clarity, objectivity and honesty to what can otherwise become a very subjective and often anecdotal assessment.
The change readiness tool is designed run alongside your existing change management initiatives and engagement strategies, allowing you to see how well they are performing and how they are being received by your target group. It also allows you to track your progress over time using a concept called moments, so you can rest safe in the knowledge that you are moving in the right direction.
We highly recommend using purpose built, metrics based change readiness assessment tools alongside targeted key stakeholder one-to-one meetings in order to get the best of both worlds.
About our Readiness Assessment Tool
We’ve created our readiness assessment tool in collaboration with the UWE Psychological Sciences team in Bristol. It uses a combination of the latest behavioural research, our own experience of change in a wide range of different organisations and sectors, and builds upon the existing well-known change models (e.g. ADKAR, Kotter’s 8 Steps, AIM, McKinsey 7-S, Lewin, Kubler-Ross’ Change Curve and Nudge Theory).
It’s designed to be used in groups from as few as 5 to as many as 50,000 or more, depending upon the circumstances of the change and the nature of the group of people we are trying to influence. If you’ve tried our free version already then you’ll notice that you gave just one perspective, yours. The Change Professional version has the same fun and friendly user experience and allows you to survey whole groups and see their combined results and, importantly, the spread of responses, often a critical factor. You’ll also go deeper into the underlying themes and areas to focus your attention on.
How would I use it with a group?
The change readiness assessment is normally used in one of three ways:
- As part of a workshop, typically with groups of up to 20 people. Each participant takes the survey and in real time we aggregate and process the results so we can discuss the findings within that group.
- At scale, as part of an engagement strategy for a change initiative, using solid data to test the effectiveness of communications approaches and / or identify and ease sources of change resistance.
- For business coaches and consultants, we can run the survey on your behalf and produce a detailed report that you can then use in your discussion with your client, of course we’re always here to help alongside if needed.
In all cases, this could either be a one-off exercise or a repeating process that takes place either at regular intervals, e.g. quarterly, or at key points in the change process. Repeating the process means that any interventions from the previous assessment can be tested to see if they are working as expected.
We typically find that a good time to run the readiness assessment is either at the beginning of the change process, once the details of the change have been communicated or if the change has run into difficulty in some way, it can be a useful way to uncover the underlying causes.
How does it work in practice?
We work collaboratively with you to do the following (either a business coach or a client):
- Confirm and succinctly describe the change that will be assessed (in just a few words that the survey participants will recognise)
- Confirm the name and contact details of the change sponsor (the person ultimately responsible for delivering the change within the organisation) – this is used in the email sent to the participants and is designed to encourage their engagement in the assessment
- Identify the list of stakeholders who are important to the success of the change (and yes ideally including those who may appear resistant!). We just need email address and name although we also often include other information such as job role as that can be useful in understanding any group patterns.
- Notify the stakeholders about the background and purpose of the survey
- Send an email to each to each participant with a unique one-time link which takes them to the survey
- Once completed, we review the results together and develop the strategies to address any areas for improvement.
What does it cost?
To keep it simple we have a per stakeholder (participant email address) per survey cost of £50 including setting up the survey, running it, analysing the results then presenting the findings, along with opportunities for improvement.
Click below to try our free version and see how it works.