The efforts around developing and integrating sustainability practices in an organisation clearly demonstrate how important effective change management and learning is in successful organisations. If an organisation’s rate of learning isn’t greater than its rate of change, then its going to fall behind the competition.
Employees in organisations, particularly customer service led organisations, are constantly solving problems, often under stress and with very tight deadlines. But how employees learn and adapt to the new norms, in an ever changing world, plays a critical role in how successful their organisation is, and how quickly it responds to changes in the fiercely competitive markets where they operate.
When reviewing various organisations’ leaders, we can assess fairly quickly how quick these companies are at adopting change, such as the integration of sustainability, and the learning curve associated with that.
Managers in those organisations tend to help their teams by ensuring that they work within a supportive learning environment, this can mean that employees feel confident to ask questions, admit mistakes, and freely share creative ideas that can help business become more efficient and effective while integrating sustainability.
Those skills in the leadership of an organisation mean that employees are aware of their role, accountabilities and feel empowered to take decisions, whilst being comfortable with the very real risks that are present in the workplace today. This means that they can engage in the learning processes and adapt and implement change more swiftly.
It goes without saying that to take this form organisations need to be supported by concrete processes and procedures that are widely communicated and understood by the workforce, the key point is how people are engaged.
Employees in an organisation, and people generally, feel compelled to change what they do, not because they are given an order or an report that shifts their thinking, but really because they are shown a fact and the relevance and impact related to that fact which influences feelings, their thinking and their behaviour. In providing employees with this awareness, change management influences their commitment and encourages a higher level of engagement. Sustainability to Action can help you socialise your sustainability policies and strategies, please contact us for more information.
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Sandra Anani is passionate about sustainability, with over 19 years’ experience. She has dedicated her career to sustainable development and communications.