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Our approach to
Engaging stakeholders: Ensuring success from the start

How do you overhaul a long-standing component of a total rewards program without causing chaos in the form of confusion and dismay, thereby avoiding disruption across the workplace? By engaging your stakeholders in the change process, in a genuine way. Easily said, but with a highly diverse and distributed workforce, where online access was the exception not the rule not easily done, particularly on a tight timeline.


Question: How to proceed quickly and effectively?

Answer: Look to an expert for help.

The opportunity before us

A key component of our client's total rewards program had been in place, largely unchanged for decades. Its effectiveness as a tool for recruiting and motivating a high-performing workforce was sub-optimal, while employee understanding and appreciation of the program was low. Finally, the program's design no longer fit with the organization's preferences with regard to cost and risk.

I was part of a team the client retained to guide it through the redesign process as well as support the new program's implementation. My role: To ensure wide-spread satisfaction with (or at least acceptance of) the program changes so as to not damage employee retention and satisfaction levels and minimize disruption to business operations.

After the project sponsors and our overall team established a set of guiding principles for the new program component, we split into two teams: 

The overall client team worked with my colleagues who were focused on the program design. Concurrently, I worked with the project sponsors to develop and execute on a strategy for engaging stakeholders at all levels of the organization, which included these key elements:

  • Early stage employee and manager focus groups and executive interviews, through which we gathered valuable insights that informed the final design.

  • Development of key messages that would be used across all of the change, implementation and ongoing communications. Among the messages developed and disseminated were the results of the stakeholder feedback sessions with highlights of how this feedback informed the final program design.

  • Execution of a robust change and marketing communications campaign that leveraged various channels and modes of communicating, some that already existed and some newly created specific for this campaign.

  • Design of materials to be used in support of in-person employee meetings, as well as "train-the-trainer materials." We also co-facilitated both the train-the-trainer sessions as well as the actual employee meetings.

The result: High levels of approval for the new program among employees and executives, with little disruption to the business operations.

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