Change Management Case Study: Amway

Amway_(logo).svgWhen Amway, known for its direct-to-consumer sales of health, beauty, and home care products, recognized the need to develop a workplace strategy to keep pace with rapid growth at their Ada, Michigan HQ, they reached out to Stegmeier Consulting Group.

With a goal of creating a work environment that was flexible and could support a variety of tasks performed by a multitude of personnel, SCG began assessing Amway’s existing work environment.  In touring Amway’s headquarters and conducting a Discoveries and Application Workshop™, SCG introduced research and top workplace trends, while allowing our consultants to gain an understanding of what support would be needed as an initiative took shape.

During this kickoff workshop, SCG learned that challenges ahead included cultural adoptions to new technology, and gaining a consensus from leadership on appropriate next steps. Amway also conveyed they would have only one opportunity for a pilot (test) program, to introduce the new workplace strategy to a designated segment of the workforce.  Amway feared that if the pilot program did not go well, the company risked losing the trust of all employees for future workplace changes.

After the workshop, SCG conducted a number of consulting activities to help select and prepare 170 employees who would participate in the pilot program.  By administering a change readiness survey, we were better able to understand employee sentiments and concerns about the workplace and culture, as well as identify employees with positive attitudes who could be candidates for an employee engagement group. To further explore the employee attitudes on change, SCG facilitated a series of focus group sessions.  In order to establish baseline metrics against which a new initiative could be compared, SCG conducted work-time studies with employees and led efforts to vet space utilization providers and ultimately make recommendations based on the selected vendor’s study results.

One common misconception is that a third party workplace consultancy, such as SCG, needs to spend an immense amount of time on-site, which clearly has cost implications when the vendor is from out of town.  In the case of Amway, as well as the vast majority of our clients, we were able to deliver the client significant cost savings by conducting almost all of our work remotely (after an initial on-site ramp up).

Developing a Change Communications Plan (along with refining it to coincide with Amway’s changing construction timeline) and writing the messaging to keep stakeholders apprised of important happenings, were behind the scenes, off-site tasks.  SCG also facilitated bi-weekly meetings, via conference call, with the AIT (Amway Implementation Team) to ensure all parties had the support they needed and were aware of all upcoming change management activities.  These meetings, along with the regularly occurring and mostly remote employee engagement team meetings we led, gave SCG the opportunity to very quickly react to any issues or concerns recently raised by Amway’s workforce, allowing us to more effectively prepare employees for new ways of working.