In Leading Organizational Transition, Albertsons Finds Preparedness and Retention
Founded in 1939, Albertsons is a national supermarket chain and one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. With both a strong local presence and national scale, the company operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners. Albertsons Companies is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Proactive in the Face of Change
Albertsons 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 processes’ 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.
Executive Support for Transition Training
Next, Linkage facilitated initial Change and 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.
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.
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