Characteristics of Change Agents
These individuals should be:
- Well respected among their peers
- Great communication skills
- Has a willing attitude to be trained if necessary
- Has the ability to coach and mentor other employees
- Shows empathy and is open and honest with employees
- Believes in the success of the initiative
Working with Change Agents
Once the Change Agent is chosen it is important that the Change Manager:
1. Introduce them to the Change team and staff.
2. Provide them with a background of the change initiative.
3. Outline their role, responsibilities and what is expected of them.
4. Allow the Change Agent to provide initial feedback on concerns or issues with the task at hand.
5. Let them take ownership of their responsibilities but monitor performance.
6. Invite them to meetings with the Change team.
7. Allow the Change Agent to provide feedback to the Change team on staff sentiment, successes and improvements they need to make on the change initiative.
8. Provide guidance as required and support and motivate these individuals.
9. Impress upon line management and the Change Team to publically acknowledge their contributions to the change initiative.
10. Capture lessons learnt from the Change Agent’s perspective.
Working with Change Agent Networks
1. Encourage knowledge sharing in the Change Agent Network where successes and failures are shared for everyone’s learning. This will help strengthen the strategy and hence the present change initiative and those in the future.
2. Utilise the Change Agent Network until the change is embedded, staff are comfortable and have adopted this new way of working i.e. Business as Usual is achieved.
Skilled Change Agents are a valuable resource to change initiatives so be sure to choose wisely, capitalise on their offerings and reward them for their efforts and contribution to the organisation.