CX Transformation Lacks Middle Manager Activation

In the Temkin Group report Introducing Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET), we defined five EET practices that companies must master if they want to successfully drive CX change across their organization::

  • Vision TranslationConnect Employees with the Vision. The organization clearly defines and conveys not only what the future state is, but why moving away from the current state is imperative for the organization, its employees, and its customers.
  • Persistent LeadershipAttack Ongoing Obstacles. Leaders realize that change is a long-term journey and commit to working together until the organization has fully embedded the transformation into its systems and processes.
  • Activated Middle Management: Enlist Key Influencers. Middle managers are invested in the transformation and understand their unique role in supporting their employees’ change journeys.
  • Grassroots MobilizationEmpower Employees to Change. Frontline employees operate in an environment where they help to shape and are enabled to deliver the change.
  • Captivating CommunicationsShare Impactful, Informative Messages. The organization shares information about the change through a variety of means that balance both the practical and the inspirational elements for each target audience.

The report includes an EET assessment, so we asked nearly 200 professionals from large organizations to answer the specific questions about Middle Management Activation. As you can see below, only about a third of companies effectively employe this practice when driving change.

1407_MiddleManagementActivation

The bottom line: Don’t forget to activate your middle managers!

 

About Bruce Temkin
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

One Response to CX Transformation Lacks Middle Manager Activation

  1. Hi Bruce, once again a great article. I enjoy reading your Customer Experience Matters blog!

    I agree with your drawing attention to the role of middle management in CX (and other change related) matters. Organisations spend a great deal of energy in frontline change management activities, but ignore the most powerful agents that can assist you in engaging your frontline staff: your own middle managers!

    All too often (change) strategy is envisioned and designed at the top, and subsequently change engagement activities are directed to the frontline (because supposedly that’s where the resistance will be). In the process, these initiatives skip the middle management level, and that’s where we encounter resistance. Not because middle managemement does not want any of the change, but because they are caught in between managing stability all the while expected to manage change.

    On my own blog “Little Hinges” I have dedicated a blog post to this very issue titled “The Problem with Middle Management”. ( http://littlehinges.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/the-problem-with-middle-management/ )

    Looking forward to reading further insights from you!

    Cheers,

    Pieter

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