Post-pandemic waves of organizational change are happening—and there are things you can do to navigate the waters with more success.
In the wake of the pandemic, industries of all kinds are experiencing more change than ever. From embracing remote and hybrid work arrangements to implementing new systems and practices, many organizations are rethinking their operations. Beyond that, today’s social climate has prompted companies to reexamine their values and create more inclusive and human-focused environments that support employee well-being.
While change can be refreshing and ultimately beneficial, it can also be challenging. According to McKinsey & Company, a remarkable 70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals. This statistic makes sense when you consider how the human brain is wired to interpret change as a threat, prompting a fight-or-flight response from the amygdala.
But there are things that organizations can do proactively to introduce changes successfully—things like proper preparation, communication, engagement, training, and evaluation.
Thoughtful appreciation is an important element of change management strategy. Research has shown that the human brain releases feel-good hormones when we get (or give!) a gift. This rush of positive feelings serves to reinforce behavior and improve mood.
At PlumTree, we have a variety of employee gifting solutions to help ease organizational changes of all kinds. In this post, we explore how sending a gift to your team members can support:
- Introducing New Work Models
- Building Team Cohesion
- Celebrating a Rebrand or Product/Service Launch
- Introducing New Leadership
- Promoting System Adoption
Gifts to Introduce New Ways of Working
Traditional office arrangements have been turned upside down in the years following the pandemic. Many companies are transforming their spaces to include flexible seating and conference rooms that can be used by hybrid employees when they are onsite.
One of our clients is an excellent example of this type of shift. In a recent location move, the company traded the individual offices they were accustomed to for a more open workspace layout. The leadership team wanted to cushion this change in how their team works with a thoughtful gift.
PlumTree helped them to build a gift box containing several high-end office supplies, including a cup, pen, and notebook—all packaged with a branded tote bag. A note from the new CEO accompanied each gift.
Not only were the gifts appreciated, but they also have had a notable impact on day-to-day work. Employees use the tote bag to transport their office items to the office and back and forth from their lockers. Many even found a use for the box itself—using it as a computer stand!
Gifts to Promote Team Cohesion
If your company is undergoing a merger or acquisition, gifts can be a powerful tool to welcome new members into the fold and encourage a sense of team unity. Team-building gifts can also help people across multiple sites or remote work setups get to know one another better.
There are several items we love regarding team building and connection. Incorporating a game or book everyone can enjoy together or with their direct work group is a smart option. Here are a few items from our collection of curated team-building gifts:
Gifts to Introduce New Branding or Celebrate a Launch
The intensity of opinions about new visual branding —or a product or service launch—can sometimes surprise leadership teams.
When selecting branded gift items, choose your products carefully with your team and brand in mind. Doing so is the best way to ensure your token of appreciation will be used and appreciated! We recommend asking a small subset of your employee base for input. Then consider that feedback, your budget, the product or service you're celebrating (if applicable), and the message you are trying to send.
Remember, this gifting occasion aims to help your employees feel connected to and involved in your rebrand or launch, not necessarily to market your company. Think about a selection of items that will make them proud to be a part of your organization, like the branded beanie in this Onboarding box we created for Take Command Health.
Gifts to Celebrate Leadership Change
There is often anxiety around leadership changes. Employees may wonder what the new leader’s impact will be on their role, the company culture, and the policies they are familiar with.
In addition to plenty of open communication, the right gift can be the perfect way to soften this transition for your employees. You can create a gift box that helps your new CEO introduce themselves, communicate their vision for the organization, and inspire your team to approach this new chapter enthusiastically.
We particularly like working with new leaders to select a book that captures a part of their philosophy or how they hope to lead. The book can communicate the leader's approach while serving as a shared touchpoint for the entire employee base. Here are a few examples of titles you might consider:
- Atomic Habits, by James Clear
- The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, by Daniel Coyle
- Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown
- Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success, by Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch, and Sean Lynch
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip Heath
Whatever you choose, be sure to pair it with a thoughtful message signed by the new CEO or owner of your company for a personal touch.
Gifts to Support New Systems
New systems require learning, adjusting workflows, and even some fear from employees around increased scrutiny.
Recognizing your team's efforts as they navigate a major adjustment to how they work can help ease the human impact of this type of change. When determining what types of gifts work best for your situation, think about things that will boost morale, celebrate your people, and perhaps even incorporate a bit of humor. For instance, if you have adopted a new digital project management system, consider gift items like useful tech swag with a witty slogan related to the new system. You could also include some gourmet snacks to help them stay motivated and energized during training sessions for the new technology.
Organizational change isn’t always easy, but it can be successful. And thoughtfully selected gifts help your employees feel appreciated and supported through it all! If you need help curating the perfect gift to support your change management strategy, PlumTree can help.