Why Companies Should Engage Managers when Rolling Out Organizational Changes

When it comes to implementing an organizational change, most company leaders excel at strategizing from a 50,000-foot view. They are great at determining which executives need to lead that change; and they’re great at determining what needs to happen to activate the change. However, many organizations fall short by leaving out a fundamental piece of the puzzle: the managers overseeing the employees who will be carrying out the change. By overlooking these key change agents, organizations are putting even the most well-thought-out strategy at risk of failure.

The bridge between the top level and the front line

Executive leadership is often too removed from the day-to-day operations, and employees can struggle with restructuring their processes to adopt to the changes—especially if they aren’t engaged. That’s where managers come in. They are the fundamental link between those who are strategizing the change and those who will be carrying it out. They are the ones who understand the “why” behind the change while connecting it to a day in the life of their team. Their ability to translate a strategy into specific actions and tasks for their employees to enact is an invaluable component of the change management process.

The human element of change management

When you involve managers in a rollout, you not only are setting the strategy up for success, but you are setting the course for better employee engagement. People want to feel good about the work they’re doing, and they want to feel assured that they are good at what they do. And it’s their managers who will engage and encourage them to do things the new way, enforce new behaviors, and offer feedback on how their performance meets these new expectations. When employees feel like they are valued contributors, they are more likely to feel connected to the organization’s bigger mission and that they’re doing good work.

Excluding managers can adversely affect customer experience

By leaving out managers in your rollout, you could experience a domino effect that will not only affect employees, but ultimately will impact your customer or end user. When managers are not involved, they are less likely to provide clarity to their teams, set expectations, hold employees accountable, or provide feedback. This gap ultimately leads to an inconsistent customer experience, because employees are not aligned. Customers could be left asking, “Why do I get different answers when I speak to different people? Should I log a support issue or escalate this? Would I get a better experience if I engaged with another company?”

The key to successful change

With all the time, energy, and resources that go into creating a strategic shift, you want to make sure you have all the pieces in place to make the rollout as seamless and successful as possible. By taking the step to include managers in the rollout strategy, you also are taking the step to ensure every level of the organization is engaged, aligned, and inspired to adopt the change. As a result, your organization will be more likely to experience positive impacts in the ROI of the change as well as upticks in employee engagement, the customer experience, and maybe even the bottom line.


About the Author

Woman headshot outsiteAllison Grayson

Senior Director, Org Change Management and OCM Practice Lead, Resultant

Allison Grayson, who joined Resultant in 2020, was an organizational change management enthusiast long before mainstream business culture had an inkling of its impact. She gets fired up about organizational structure and team effectiveness, training, and development—areas of expertise she began refining while earning her master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology.

Allison’s 20 years in the consulting trenches with large organizations produced powerful results improving both customer loyalty and employee engagement. Research- and data-driven, she spearheaded what came to be known as organizational change management. Resultant’s OCM practice is now a fully established team and plays a critical role in all kinds of projects for clients across various industries.

Allison’s team is laser-focused on tackling change management challenges from public- and private-sector clients. Proactively identifying risks, resistance, and obstacles to project adoption are team superpowers that drive value delivery to clients.



Find out how our team can help you achieve great outcomes.

Insights delivered to your inbox