By Viktoria Vero, Sustainability Advisory Team Lead
While the idea of working for a sustainable business is becoming increasingly important for many employees, ensuring this sustainability vision becomes a reality is often easier said than done for the organisations concerned.
But it is here that the often-underestimated discipline of change management comes in. Any organisational shift inevitably requires a change to processes, behaviours and how individuals and functions interact with each other.
Nowhere is this more true than in a sustainability context where to effect real and, yes, sustainable change is a company-wide endeavour. Unless everyone at all levels of the organisation works together and is on board with the plans, outcomes will be piecemeal at best and the overall impact will be limited.
In other words, change management may not be top of most leaders’ minds when embarking on such an initiative, not least because the scope of the sustainability agenda is significant and can seem overwhelming. But it does have a pivotal role to play if you want to bring employees along with you through the transition.
A key challenge in this context is that many people fear change with its countless unknowns and uncertainties. A Gartner survey highlighted the rising phenomenon of change fatigue among employees, due to which their willingness to support organisational change is decreasing. According to data, 74% of employees were willing to facilitate change in 2016, whereas only 38% are on board with supporting change in 2022.
Employees may be unsure about whether they can get to grips with the new proposals or be afraid of not doing as good a job as in the past. This situation all too often translates into resistance and pushback, which are common reasons behind project failure. So, the secret to success here is creating a desire for change.
Read more on creating a desire for change in the full version.