In Leading Organizational Transition, Albertsons Finds Preparedness and Retention
Albertsons, a national supermarket chain, was exploring ways to increase shareholder value, with acquisition as one potential solution. The company knew from unfortunate past experiences that doing nothing to help the employees prepare for and cope with the upcoming change would spell disaster; it had to take a proactive approach to leading organizational transition, including preemptively preparing the staff to ensure success in the inevitable, yet undetermined, imminent change.
Linkage worked with Albertsons’ change management team, designing a process to create, and sustain, change and transition capabilities throughout the organization. To ensure the process’ acceptance and momentum, the leading organization transition team knew that it needed to first develop a solid business case to secure upfront senior management buy-in and active support.
Next, Linkage facilitated initial Transition Management program sessions with Albertsons’ senior management. The sessions resonated and the management team embraced the session concepts, each which is based on the work of transitions pioneer, William Bridges. The team decided to provide the Linkage Transitions Management concepts to a wide range of leaders and associates, beginning with stage one, “endings,” which helps team members to let go of the way things were done in order to move on to a new organizational reality.
By the time Albertsons’ acquisition came to fruition, 3,000-4,000 employees had already completed the Transitions training program. The acquisition went smoothly for the organization and its employees, and since the Transition program concepts better prepared employees, less than 10% of Albertsons’ managers left the organization.
WHY IT WORKS
By proactively preparing for change and leading organizational transition, Albertsons was able to take full advantage of Linkage’s Transitions model process, concepts, and tools to gain that critical buy-in from top leaders, while also creating a cascading effect to spread change and transition readiness throughout the organization. By preparing employees proactively and helping them to cope with change before and as it occurred, Albertsons not only ensured effective implementation of its change initiatives, but also retained talent and influenced positive morale.