Welcome to the Leading through Change survey template. This survey guides managers and people leaders on what behaviors will have the biggest impact, to effectively lead their team during times of change and uncertainty.
This article provides an overview of the survey and guidance on when this may be suitable to run in your organization.
NOTE: Account Admins and Survey Creators can launch the survey under Surveys > Create survey > Engagement > Leading Through Change
The value of feedback during times of change
Changes in organizations are challenging for all involved, but understanding where to develop your skills and hone your effectiveness as a manager can be tricky. Managers and people leaders have many competing priorities and time constraints are more than ever at front of mind.
Our Leading Through Change survey template directs leaders on where to focus their energy in order to effectively lead their team during times of change and uncertainty. It is designed to deliver powerful insights straight to people leaders that are easy to action.
When to run this survey
Use this for any change occurring in your organization, such as a restructuring, merger or acquisition, change of leadership, or other change initiatives. Additionally, use this survey when your organization is going through an extended period of uncertainty.
Similar to the Manager Effectiveness survey, the Leading Through Change survey is designed to provide managers and people leaders with actionable feedback across a range of core leadership behaviors that research shows are vital during times of change and uncertainty.
In addition to the powerful reports for managers and people leaders, aggregate reporting also allows your organization to look across the business and identify core areas for development. This provides you with meaningful insights on where leadership development and change resources would be most valuable.
The questions are designed to elicit actionable, forward-focused feedback, and to help managers answer two specific questions:
- What are the key things that I am doing well and should keep doing?
- What are the most important things that I should focus on to help my team feel more supported, motivated, and connected during times of change?
This survey differs from the Manager Effectiveness 180 survey and Leadership Effectiveness 360 Survey as it is specifically designed around behaviors relevant during change. Each item has been chosen to provide feedback that can be implemented quickly by providing managers quick actions they can take to continue leading effectively in an uncertain and changing environment.
Why our People Scientists love it
Our People Science team developed this survey in collaboration with several global Culture Amp customers who have experienced a real need in their organizations for managers to be able to collect feedback and action on it quickly.
Through extensive research in partnership with global Culture Amp customers we found:
- During change and uncertainty, we expect managers to exhibit the same management behaviors as they would during times of stability. Because of this, our survey comprises a number of already benchmarked items from the Manager Effectiveness 180 template and other relevant Culture Amp templates.
- Managers need to lean on additional behaviors to help steer their teams through unknown times. Our extensive academic research and best practice gathering from Culture Amp customers like yourself has suggested that leading through change is an important part of a manager's ability to help staff through times of change, crisis, or unknown VUCA environments (those characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity).
Our People Scientists consulted change research, particularly Kubler, Lewin, and Kotter’s models, as well as the Prosci ADKAR model of change, to help determine what key characteristics and behaviors are important for managers to possess in order to guide their teams during change. These models stress the importance for employees to understand the need for change, be kept informed, and be provided a vision to work toward. In addition, they highlight the employees’ need to be encouraged to learn new skills, adapt, receive encouragement, and useful feedback from the managers regarding their progress. Kotter’s 8 Stage Change Model further highlights the importance of team cohesion, psychological safety, and open lines of communication.
When thinking about the new world of work, we also looked at research on agile leaders, particularly in VUCA environments. This term has risen in popularity in organizations by strategic business leaders to describe the rapidly changing environment businesses currently have to operate in. This has led to HR seeing an increased need for business leaders and managers to have a changed focus on the development of skills that are required to succeed in this changing world. Distinguished fellow at the Institute of the Future, Bob Johansen, has flipped VUCA to VUCA Prime - a set of characteristics leaders need to make sense and be effective in a VUCA world. This model suggests that vision, understanding, clarity, and agility are key skills and abilities of leaders. This model is aligned to research on ‘adaptive firms’ such as Google, 3M, and Amazon, as well as the research by the Centre for Creative Leadership and the increasingly popular research on leadership agility.
The survey consists of 25 rating questions and 2 open-ended questions, relating to the following topics:
- Agility through Change
- Team Climate
- Growth and Performance
Understanding sentiment across these topic areas can help inform a manager on how to lead their team effectively through uncertain times and what behaviors they should work on. Similar to all our other templates, the Leading Through Change survey template comes with a number of inspirations that are quickly actionable, so managers can adapt their approach and continue to support their team effectively through change.
NOTE: Inspirations for this survey are currently in an Early Access Program release. They will be available in Culture Amp in Q4 2020.
The outcome variable
As with most of our templates, we include an outcome variable in order to understand what drives effective manager behavior during change.
The Leading Through Change outcome consists of 3 questions that measure the manager's overall impact on employee motivation, feeling valued, and leading effectively during change.
When viewing survey responses within the Culture Amp platform, the Impact Analysis will show which questions have biggest impact on the Leading Through Change outcome measure. This means managers interpreting their results can avoid analysis paralysis. They can very quickly narrow their focus and efforts by identifying which key questions they need to action.
Sharing Leading Through Change Results
Sharing your Leading Through Change results is just like report sharing for an engagement survey. In this case, you will most likely create a report by manager name, and then give the appropriate manager access to that report.
We know it is more important than ever to take action on survey results, especially during times of change and uncertainty. Use this survey to signal to your employees that you value their insight and plan to take action to help improve their experiences during this time.
We also know that, because specific groups may be having very different experiences regarding change, and so action might be best taken at the manager or team level. In order to set everyone up for success, ensure that these groups have the support and resources necessary to take swift and meaningful action.
The role of the manager is also integral to taking action on supporting our employees during this time. If there was ever a moment for managers to make an impact, it’s now.
- Our step-by-step guide for managers to walks them through their results from this type of survey and guides them to action.
- Playbooks in the platform includes sections such as Coaching, Resilience, Giving Feedback, conducting effective 1:1 meetings, and much more.
Check out our Culture First resources page that includes Resilience and more. This is a crowd-sourced collection of ideas and information to help you navigate challenging times as an organization. The People Science team has been working on sourcing and updating our Action Framework with ideas for action to meet the needs and challenges that you are facing today. We also have this guide for more information about taking action quickly during this time.