Employee engagement and change management: How are they connected

Kailash Ganesh
9 min read
Employee engagement and change management: How are they connected
Employee engagement and change management: How are they connected

A recent Gallup survey shows that a mere 15% of employees worldwide actively invest in their jobs. This staggering revelation highlights a pressing issue that demands immediate attention.

The intertwining of employee engagement and change control offers a transformative path, turning hesitation into wholehearted acceptance and trepidation into excitement. Let’s learn more about implementing a change!

What is change management?

What is change management?
What is change management?

Change is the lifeblood of progress, infusing organizations and businesses with the vitality to thrive in a dynamic and ever-evolving world. Yet, introducing and adapting to change is no simple task, especially when met with employee and company resistance.

Enter the powerful partnership of "Employee Engagement" and "Change Control and Management" - an interwoven fabric that holds the key to unlocking an organization's true potential.

This concept refers to the structured approach and set of processes used to prepare, support, and facilitate organizational or individual transitions from the current state to a desired future state.

It is a critical discipline aimed at ensuring that changes within a company, such as implementing new technologies, restructuring, adopting new strategies, or introducing cultural shifts, are executed smoothly and effectively.

It aims to minimize resistance, mitigate potential disruptions, and maximize the benefits of the change. As we already know, the greater the workers are involved, the more likely they would go an extra mile to deliver the best performance to move forward.

Types of organizational change management

Types of organizational change management
Types of organizational change management

Technology implementation

This is focused on the successful adoption and integration of new technologies within a company. It involves training employees and line managers on how to use the new technology, addressing any concerns or resistance, and ensuring that the tech aligns with the organization's objectives.

Structural change

Structural change refers to changes in the organization's overall structure, such as reorganization, mergers, acquisitions, or changes in reporting relationships. The management of change in this context involves defining new roles and responsibilities, communicating the rationale behind the structural changes, and managing the transition to the new organizational setup.

Process improvement

The management of change, in this case, would aim to enhance efficiency and effectiveness by redesigning or using new direction and optimizing existing processes. It involves identifying areas for improvement, engaging employees in the process, and ensuring that the changes are implemented smoothly without disrupting day-to-day operations.

Cultural change

Managing change for an environment focuses on transforming a company or team's values, and beliefs. It involves aligning the organization's environment with its strategic goals, promoting new behaviors and mindsets, and fostering a positive and adaptive work environment.

Strategic change

This form of management deals with significant shifts in an organization's overall direction and long-term objectives. This could include entering new markets, diversifying product offerings, or pursuing a new business model.

Downsizing or restructuring

During times of downsizing or restructuring, managing the change becomes essential to address employee concerns, provide assistance to those affected, and boost morale and productivity throughout the transition.

Merger and acquisition integration

When two organizations merge or one acquires another, change handling is crucial to integrate processes, systems, cultures, and workforces. It involves creating a cohesive environment where both entities can work together harmoniously.

Leadership transitions

Change handling in the context of management transitions focuses on facilitating a smooth handover when key leaders leave the company or new leaders step into their roles. It involves providing support to both outgoing and incoming leaders, communicating the change to employees, and maintaining stability during the transition.

Each type of organizational change requires a tailored approach to manage the unique challenges and opportunities it presents. Effective change management ensures that the company adapts successfully, minimizes resistance, and maximizes the benefits of the changes being implemented.

What are the positive and negative effects of organizational change management?

What are the positive and negative effects of organizational change management?
What are the positive and negative effects of organizational change management?

Positive effects of organizational change management

Improved adaptability

Effective organizational handling of change fosters adaptability and innovation, enabling organizations to thrive in dynamic environments and stay ahead of the competition.

Increased engagement

Engaged employees drive productivity and satisfaction as they align efforts with organizational goals, contributing to a positive and energized work environment.

Enhanced efficiency

Successful change initiatives streamline processes, leading to increased efficiency throughout the company, saving time and resources.

Better decision-making

Effective organizational handling promotes open conversations and collaborative decision-making, resulting in better outcomes and smarter choices for the company.

Heightened innovation

Change inspires creativity, encouraging the development of new products and strategies, positioning the organization as a leader in its industry.

Negative impact and effects of organizational change management

Resistance and low morale

Change may face resistance, leading to low morale and decreased productivity among employees who feel uneasy or left out of the process.

Disruption and uncertainty

Significant change can cause disruptions and uncertainty in daily operations, potentially leading to temporary setbacks.

Increased stress

Managing change can be stressful and may lead to burnout among employees who feel overwhelmed by new responsibilities.

Communication challenges

Inadequate conversations during organizational change, can lead to misunderstandings and loss of trust, hindering the progress of the organizational change initiative.

Cost and resource overruns

Poorly managed change may result in cost and resource allocation issues, straining the organization's finances and operations.

Competing initiatives

These can pose challenges, dividing employees' attention and potentially leading to resistance or disengagement.

How are change management and employee engagement connected?

How are change management and employee engagement connected?
How are change management and employee engagement connected?

Involvement and ownership

Engaging employees in the process by involving them in decision-making and seeking their input creates a sense of accountability. When employees feel that their opinions matter and that they have a stake in shaping the change, they are more likely to be personally committed to and engaged. Keep them posted on what's happening in the office.

Support and empowerment

Change can be unsettling, and employees may face challenges during the transition. Providing adequate support, resources, and training empowers employees to adapt to the change more effectively, reducing resistance and enhancing engagement.

Recognition and celebrations

Acknowledging and celebrating small milestones and successes during the process reinforces steps to engage employees. Recognizing individual and team efforts builds morale and encourages continued commitment.

How to engage employees in organizational change?

How to engage employees in organizational change?
How to engage employees in organizational change?

Create a compelling vision

Paint a clear and compelling vision of the desired future state after the change. Illustrate how the change will benefit both the organization and its workers, inspiring them to work towards the shared vision.

Foster two-way communication

Communicating openly is key. Establish open channels and frequent meetings for conversations to encourage feedback, questions, and concerns from employees. Actively listen to their input and their needs to demonstrate that their voices are valued.

Provide opportunities for skill development

Offer training and development programs to equip new team and employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt to the change successfully. This empowers employees and boosts their confidence in handling new challenges.

Lead by example

Leaders play a critical role in making employees feel engaged during change. They should exemplify the desired behaviors and attitudes, demonstrating a commitment to the change and encouraging others to follow suit.

Build a supportive culture

Cultivate a supportive and inclusive organizational environment where employees need to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns. Encourage teamwork and collaboration to foster a sense of unity during the change.

Recognize and reward efforts

Celebrate employees' contributions and efforts during the change journey. Publicly recognize achievements and milestones, reinforcing the importance of their role in the process.

Role of leadership communication in organizational change management

Role of leadership communication in organizational change management
Role of leadership communication in organizational change management

Leadership communication plays a pivotal role in organizational change procedure. It serves as the guiding force that aligns employees, other stakeholders, and the entire organization with the change vision and the big picture of the business.

Effective insights from team leaders during times of change fosters trust, transparency, and a shared understanding of the change's purpose and impact.

Key aspects of leadership in handling of company changes include:

Active listening

Effective leaders need to actively listen to workers' concerns and ideas related to the change. Demonstrating genuine interest in employees' perspectives builds trust and encourages open communication.

Empathy and understanding

Recognizing that change can be challenging for workers, leaders should show empathy and understanding towards their feelings and anxieties. Acknowledging these emotions fosters a supportive environment and strengthens the bond between leaders and their teams.

Visible leadership

Being visible and accessible during change reassures workers and reinforces the commitment of business leaders to the change initiative. Regular town hall meetings, face-to-face interactions, and conversations through various platforms contribute to a sense of connection.

A line manager, for example, act as influential catalysts in nurturing worker involvement during change handling, ensuring a smooth transition and enthusiastic worker participation.

Best practices for integrating employee engagement in change management strategies

Best practices for integrating employee engagement in change management strategies
Best practices for integrating employee engagement in change management strategies

Early involvement

Engaging disengaged employees through targeted involvement fosters a sense of accountability and commitment to the change from the outset. Seeking their input and thoughts demonstrates respect for their expertise and insights.

Transparent conversations

Provide open and honest spaces to speak about the change project's purpose, impact, and timeline. Address potential concerns proactively and provide updates regularly to engage people.

Worker empowerment

Empower employees by offering them a degree of autonomy and control over their roles during the change. Encourage them to take ownership of aspects related to the changing organization.

Navigating challenges: Strategies for maintaining engagement throughout change process
Navigating challenges: Strategies for maintaining engagement throughout change process

Addressing resistance

Identify and address sources of resistance early on. Communicate the benefits of the change and provide motivation to employees who may be struggling to embrace it.

Continuous communication

Maintain a steady flow of conversation throughout the process. Keep employees informed of progress, challenges, and milestones to foster a sense of continuity, focus, and purpose.

Feedback mechanisms

Establish mechanisms for your team employees to share their concerns, solicit feedback and follow up with suggestions. Act on this to demonstrate responsiveness and build trust within teams.

Celebrating successes

Celebrate achievements, no matter how small, to keep morale and momentum for positive change. This reinforces the positive impact of the change and encourages further involvement.

Flexibility and adaptability

Be open to adjusting the change handling strategy based on the workers' insights and changing circumstances. Flexibility allows for agility in responding to challenges and keeping employees engaged.

By prioritizing leadership communication, integrating employee involvement practices, and navigating challenges proactively, organizations can successfully navigate change and deliver more with a motivated and engaged workforce, leading to better outcomes and sustained success.

The impact of employee empowerment on change management and engagement

Employee empowerment significantly impacts both change handling and employee involvement during organizational change. When employees feel empowered, they take ownership of the process in changing and commit to its success.

Empowered employees proactively problem-solve within their job, communicate openly, and collaborate, making change implementation smoother. They exhibit adaptability and resilience, viewing change as an opportunity for growth.

Empowerment fosters job satisfaction, job learning opportunities, and positive organizational culture that impact employees, resulting in higher employee retention. A workforce that is empowered during change becomes agile, enabling the organization to respond quickly to dynamic business environments.

Overall, employee empowerment ensures successful change outcomes, contributes to a thriving organizational culture and is an effective method behind managing employee engagement.


The symbiotic relationship between employee involvement and change administration forms the bedrock of successful organizational transformations.

When employees feel empowered and engaged throughout the change process, they become enthusiastic advocates communicating change, propelling the organization toward its desired future state.

Embracing change with a supportive and empowered workforce fosters adaptability, innovation, and positive collaboration, ensuring smooth change implementation and optimal outcomes.

To fully capitalize on the potential of involvement and drive a transformative change within your organization, leverage CultureMonkey - a complete employee engagement software platform.

With CultureMonkey, you can measure and enhance your organization and workplace ambience, actively listen to your employees' thoughts, and create an environment of growth and continuous improvement.

By integrating CultureMonkey into your change handling strategies, you can cultivate a workforce that is not just ready for change but actively drives it forward, ushering your organization into a future of sustained success.

Kailash Ganesh

Kailash Ganesh

Kailash is a Product Marketer with 5+ years of experience. He loves story-telling in the simplest way possible and he is an avid reader, movie buff, and likes to travel new places to meet new people.