Employee Engagement Strategies During Organizational Change

Boost employee productivity during organizational change with these essential strategies for maintaining employee engagement.

July 1, 2024
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Employee engagement plays a vital role in the success of any organization, and this becomes especially significant during periods of organizational change. When a company undergoes restructuring, mergers, or shifts in strategy, employees can experience uncertainty and stress. Ensuring high levels of engagement during these times is crucial for maintaining productivity, morale, and overall organizational health.

Change is intrinsic to organizational growth and development. However, managing employee engagement amidst these changes can be a challenging aspect for any organization. In an era where employee engagement is considered an important element in driving productivity and retention, this article seeks to offer strategies for maintaining high levels of engagement during periods of significant change in an organization.

Understanding the Impact of Organizational Change

Organizational change can take many forms, such as changes in leadership, company culture, or operational processes. These changes often lead to disruptions in routines and expectations, which can affect employees' sense of stability and security. Without proper management, this can result in decreased engagement, increased turnover, and lower performance levels. When employees are uncertain about their roles or the future direction of the company, their motivation can wane, leading to reduced productivity. A lack of clear communication during periods of change can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and confusion, further impacting morale. Organizations must implement strategic change management practices to navigate these transitions smoothly. This includes providing support and resources to employees, maintaining open lines of communication, and fostering a culture of adaptability and resilience. Effective change management can help mitigate the negative effects of organizational change, ensuring that employees remain engaged and the organization continues to thrive.

Key Strategies to Maintain Employee Engagement

Navigating organizational change can be challenging, but maintaining employee engagement throughout the process is essential for success. Key strategies such as clear communication, inclusive decision-making, comprehensive training, recognition of efforts, and effective leadership play a key role in keeping employees motivated and committed. These approaches help address uncertainties, empower employees, and foster a positive environment where they can thrive despite the changes.

  1. Clear and Consistent Communication
    Clear communication is the cornerstone of managing change. The fear of the unknown can lead to uncertainty and stress among employees, which in turn, affect their engagement levels. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your employees informed about impending changes, the reasons behind them, and how they will affect their roles. Regular updates and open forums for questions can help alleviate fears and uncertainties. Empowering your workforce with this knowledge can promote openness, understanding, and trust.
  2. Inclusive Decision-Making and Participation
    Including employees in the decision-making process may not always be feasible, particularly in instances of mergers or restructuring. However, involving them where possible can give them a sense of ownership and control. Encourage your employees to share their ideas and feedback about the impending changes and incorporate their valuable insights. This can be achieved through surveys, focus groups, and feedback sessions. When employees feel they have a voice and their input is valued, they are more likely to support the changes.
  3. Training, Support, and Resources
    Changes often necessitate new processes, systems, or roles. Providing your employees with the necessary training and support to navigate these new terrains can effectively reduce anxiety and increase engagement levels. This includes training programs to help employees adapt to new systems or processes, as well as access to counseling or employee assistance programs to manage stress. Ensuring employees have the tools they need to succeed in the new environment is key to maintaining engagement. This shows the organization's commitment to employee development and adaptability.
  4. Recognition and Appreciation
    Recognizing and appreciating employees' efforts during the change process is a powerful way to boost morale and keep engagement levels high. This could be through financial incentives or even non-financial acknowledgments like words of appreciation or opportunities for growth. Celebrating small wins and acknowledging the hard work and adaptability of employees reinforces their value to the organization.
  5. Leadership and Role Modeling
    Effective leadership is critical during organizational change. Leaders should model the behaviors and attitudes they wish to see in their employees. By demonstrating resilience, optimism, and a commitment to change, leaders can inspire similar attitudes in their teams.

Monitoring and Adapting Strategies

Regularly monitoring engagement levels through surveys and feedback mechanisms allows organizations to adapt their strategies as needed. This ongoing assessment helps identify areas of concern and opportunities for improvement, ensuring that engagement efforts remain effective throughout the change process. By consistently collecting and analyzing feedback from employees, organizations can stay attuned to the evolving needs and sentiments of their workforce. This proactive approach enables timely adjustments to engagement initiatives, fostering a more responsive and supportive environment. Continuous monitoring helps in pinpointing specific challenges that may arise, allowing for targeted interventions that address these issues directly. Through this dynamic process, organizations maintain high levels of engagement and build a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability. This, in turn, supports the overall success and sustainability of change initiatives.

Mastering Employee Engagement Through Change

No organizational change is easy, but with the right strategies, it is possible to maintain – and even enhance – employee engagement during these challenging times. It demands leadership commitment, transparent communication, inclusion, adequate training, and due recognition. Done right, managing employee engagement during change can pave the way for smoother transitions and a stronger, more agile organization in the long run.

Boost employee engagement during organizational change with Assembly’s recognition program! See how our platform can integrate appreciation into your workplace during a transition period. Schedule a demo today to build a more engaged and loyal team. Celebrate milestones, reinforce core values, and establish rewards that ignite your team's passion.


How does clear communication impact employee engagement? 

Clear communication helps remove uncertainty, fosters trust, and empowers employees with knowledge about organizational changes, thereby maintaining their engagement levels. Here are several ways clear communication significantly impacts employee engagement:

  1. Clarity and Understanding: When communication is clear, employees better understand their roles, responsibilities, and the company's goals. This reduces confusion and increases their confidence in performing tasks effectively.
  2. Trust and Transparency: Transparent communication builds trust between employees and management. When employees feel informed about company decisions and changes, they are more likely to trust their leaders and feel secure in their roles.
  3. Feedback and Recognition: Clear communication facilitates effective feedback and recognition. When employees receive constructive feedback and praise for their achievements, they feel valued and motivated to perform well.
  4. Collaboration and Teamwork: Effective communication enhances collaboration and teamwork. When team members communicate openly and clearly, it fosters a positive work environment and improves collective problem-solving abilities.
  5. Engagement and Morale: Clear communication helps in managing expectations and reducing misunderstandings, leading to higher engagement and morale. Employees who feel heard and understood are more likely to be committed to their work and the organization.

How does inclusive decision-making affect employee engagement during change?

Inclusive decision-making positively impacts employee engagement during periods of change by fostering a sense of ownership and involvement among employees. Here are the key effects:

  1. Increased Buy-In: When employees are involved in decision-making, they are more likely to support and commit to the changes being implemented.
  2. Enhanced Trust: Transparency in decision-making builds trust between employees and management, which is crucial during transitions.
  3. Improved Morale: Feeling heard and valued boosts employee morale, reducing resistance to change.
  4. Diverse Perspectives: Inclusive decision-making leverages diverse viewpoints, leading to more comprehensive and effective solutions.
  5. Better Communication: Engaging employees in decisions ensures better communication and understanding of the reasons behind changes.

How does training and support influence employee engagement during organizational change?

Training and support play a crucial role in influencing employee engagement during organizational change. Here’s how they impact engagement:

1. Building Confidence and Competence:

  • Training: Provides employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt to new processes, technologies, and roles. This reduces uncertainty and increases their confidence in handling new tasks.
  • Support: Ensures employees feel backed by the organization, knowing they have resources and assistance available. This can include access to mentors, help desks, and continuous learning opportunities.

2. Reducing Anxiety and Resistance:

  • Training: Alleviates fears about changes by demonstrating how new systems work and the benefits they bring. This reduces resistance and helps employees feel more comfortable with the transition.
  • Support: Addresses concerns and provides a platform for employees to voice their issues and receive feedback, making them feel heard and valued.

3. Enhancing Communication and Collaboration:

  • Training: Often includes sessions on communication skills and teamwork, promoting better collaboration among employees during the change process.
  • Support: Encourages open communication channels where employees can share their experiences and insights, fostering a collaborative environment.

4. Increasing Motivation and Morale:

  • Training: Demonstrates the organization's investment in employees' professional development, boosting morale and motivation.
  • Support: Provides emotional and psychological support, helping employees stay motivated and positive despite challenges.

5. Aligning Goals and Expectations:

  • Training: Clarifies the goals and expectations of the change, helping employees understand their roles and how they contribute to the organization’s success.
  • Support: Ensures ongoing alignment through regular check-ins, progress reviews, and adjustments as needed.

6. Fostering a Positive Organizational Culture:

  • Training: Promotes a culture of continuous learning and improvement, making change a positive and expected part of the organizational culture.
  • Support: Reinforces a supportive culture where employees feel valued and empowered to take on new challenges.

How do recognition and rewards impact employee engagement during organizational change?

Recognition and rewards significantly impact employee engagement during organizational change. Here’s how they contribute:

1. Boosting Morale and Motivation

  • Recognition: When employees are recognized for their efforts and achievements, they feel valued. This sense of value can boost morale, making employees more willing to engage with new initiatives and changes.
  • Rewards: Tangible rewards, such as bonuses, promotions, or other incentives, serve as motivation for employees to adapt to and support organizational changes.

2. Enhancing Commitment and Loyalty

  • Recognition: Acknowledging employees’ contributions fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty. Employees are more likely to stay committed to the organization during times of change when they feel their hard work is noticed and appreciated.
  • Rewards: Offering rewards during periods of change can reinforce employees' commitment to the organization, as they see direct benefits from their dedication and adaptability.

3. Promoting a Positive Culture

  • Recognition: Regular recognition creates a positive work culture where employees are encouraged to perform well and support each other. This positive environment is crucial during change, as it reduces resistance and promotes cooperation.
  • Rewards: Implementing a reward system that aligns with organizational goals ensures that employees’ efforts are directed toward supporting the change. This alignment helps in building a culture that is adaptable and resilient.

4. Encouraging Innovation and Adaptability

  • Recognition: Recognizing employees who show innovation and adaptability during change encourages others to follow suit. It signals that the organization values creativity and flexibility.
  • Rewards: Providing rewards for innovative solutions and adaptive behaviors incentivizes employees to think creatively and embrace change rather than resist it.

5. Reducing Stress and Uncertainty

  • Recognition: During organizational change, uncertainty, and stress are common. Recognition can alleviate some of this stress by providing reassurance that employees’ contributions are valued and that they are on the right path.
  • Rewards: Rewards can also reduce stress by providing tangible benefits that help employees feel more secure in their roles and futures with the company.

6. Improving Communication and Feedback

  • Recognition: Recognizing employees often goes hand-in-hand with providing feedback. This continuous communication helps employees understand their roles and expectations during change.
  • Rewards: Reward systems can be tied to specific performance metrics or milestones, providing clear goals and feedback mechanisms for employees to track their progress and success during the transition.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at support@joinassembly.com.

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered