How to Empower Your Employees as Agents of Change

Think back to October—ages ago in the era of coronavirus and protests around racial justice. The pace of corporate change was already in overdrive, with technology and automation upending industries across the board.

Against this backdrop, a research initiative began to better understand the massive shifts taking place within organizations. Most studies on transformation have examined its technological and digital roots, but we wanted a better understanding of its human components—a deeper knowledge of how people are both the casualties and the catalysts of change, a deeper understanding of the essential role that employees play in steering corporate transformation–a theme made more urgent than ever as employees demand accountability from employers over racial justice and expect their work lives to be better integrated into their home lives in response to coronavirus.

There’s a ray of hope, however, a much-needed optimism that, by focusing on the human effects of business transformation, specifically by responding with action to what employees want and need, companies can be both more resilient and more successful.

Employees are the overlooked drivers of disruption

The three primary areas of inquiry:

1. Are workers generally helped by change or are they mostly just victims of it? How, exactly, is transformation reshaping their lives?

2. To what extent are people as pivotal as technology when it comes to organizational change? Have we overlooked something important by focusing almost exclusively on technology?

3. How can employees be empowered in their role as agents of change?

 

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