If the past two years taught us anything, it’s reaffirmed what we already knew to be true — change is a constant, and resiliency is the path forward. The last few years have been particularly challenging for customer experience (CX) leaders. There is growing financial pressure on CX teams to provide ROI of initiatives and signs that fewer resources and budgets are available to CX leaders. Change resilience is how CX leaders will thrive.
Interestingly, when we introduce the concept of change resilience to people, most mistakenly perceive resilience to be about speed. While speed is part of it, resilience is also about believing change will make a difference. By cultivating change resilience, we can empower ourselves to rise above obstacles and lead our organizations through CX transformations.
A person’s pride in making an impact is crucial to their ability to adapt to change faster. The problem is most organizations use a top-down approach and impose change. Decision-making is centralized at higher levels of the organization, excluding lower-level and customer-facing employees in the change process, even though they are directly affected. The danger with top-down cultures, where employees’ voices are not included, is that they might help to execute a strategy— but they don’t own it.
In our experience leading hundreds of CX transformations, we’ve found the top three engagement drivers are:
Engagement Driver #1
Give employees personal ownership of the strategy.
A top-down and bottom-up approach using co-creation as a platform for innovation is critical. Include employees in defining the CX vision, principles, and behaviors. This requires more time early on, but you will create a CX transformation program that the organization can support and activate.
Engagement Driver #2
Put customers at the center and empower people to serve them.
CX initiatives are a change catalyst and, as such, CX needs to be a strategic objective tied to the overall corporate vision. Every department within the organization, either directly or indirectly, impacts the experience delivered to customers and plays a key role in the success of CX initiatives.
Engagement Driver #3
Give people the power to have an impact on someone else’s life.
Only when employees feel that they are empowered to do what is right will they feel engaged. When people are inspired to act, understand the need they are addressing for their customer or colleague, and have their role in making an impact clearly communicated, they are ready to make a difference.
Cultivating change resilience starts with you as a leader and your level of engagement. Reread the engagement drivers above and this time, make it personal. Do you feel empowered to make a difference? If not, what are the barriers preventing you from taking action? If CX is not prioritized as an organization-wide strategic objective, what do you need to elevate it to that level? How do you currently innovate and engage others in strategy development? The answers to these questions should spark ideas and inform where to focus attention.
CX leaders have had to contend with many challenges as the CX profession has changed dramatically in recent years. Our Cultivating Change Resilience blog series will continue to explore ways CX leaders can overcome challenges, rise to exceptional performance and be future-ready. Here at ImprintCX, we understand the journey ahead and can support you along the way. Let’s get started.