Your employees are your biggest asset and they always will be because without them nothing happens. They greet your customers, ship your products, complete projects, and do all the other work that gets done. Because they are so valuable, you need their buy-in when making organizational change happen.
Three Questions To Ask For Buy-in
If your employees aren’t on board, they will eventually leave. So how do you get their buy-in? I have three suggestions to get them involved.
1. Ask for the employees’ point of view.
Find out what your employees think about the current situation. Ask whether or not they are satisfied with status quo. Let them explain how they work within the current framework and get their feedback. As you learn their thoughts, you will gain valuable insight into how they think.
The more you get their feedback, the more they will realize that you value their thoughts and opinions. They will gain trust in your actions and words once they realize you value them. Getting their feedback will also help you be better prepared to introduce changes in a way that won’t rub them wrong. Getting their feedback will also help gain their buy-in when the decisions are made in the future.
2. Explain the background and details of your reasoning.
I have seen a number of leaders that made a change and then ordered their employees to move forward on the change without any explanation. Those leaders struggled to get the buy-in from their employees. I have also seen leaders that explained all the background on why a change was happening, what factors led to the change, how the change would effect them, and when the change would take effect.
When changes happen people always want to know the “Why?” behind the change. They want to know why what they have done in the past is no longer acceptable. By explaining the background and details, the leader will get more buy-in. As you explain your reasoning to them, they will begin to see the full picture and the change will mean more to them.
3. Identify the importance of their role in implementation.
The final suggestion is to help your employees understand that they have a vital role in the implementation. If they buy-in quickly and assist in the implementation, they will individually benefit and the group as a whole will benefit because the change will go quicker. Help your employees know that without their help, the implementation will be a failure.
Over that last few years, I have learned these lessons the hard way both as a leader and as a follower. There have been times where I was slow to make a change that was for my own good. There have also been times where I didn’t the input from those I lead. It was very difficult to make the change and I faced a high level of resistance.
Have you used these steps to get buy-in from others? What other techniques have you used to get buy-in? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!