Helpful Reinforcement Tactics for Sustaining Organizational Change

The buzz of a new initiative, the excitement of fresh possibilities – the early stages of organizational change can be exhilarating. But all too often, that initial enthusiasm wanes, and the new ways of working fall by the wayside.

This is where the true test of change management lies: sustaining organizational change beyond the honeymoon phase.

Organizational change is not a one-time event; it’s an ongoing journey. Like tending to a delicate garden, sustaining change requires deliberate care, nurturing, and consistent reinforcement.

Sustaining Organizational Change

Whether you’re implementing new processes, shifting company culture, or embracing digital transformation, this guide is your compass beyond the initial excitement to the land of change reinforcement and sustained improvement.

Watch a summary below:


Story Highlights

  • Factors contributing to poor change adoption include a lack of reinforcement, competing priorities, unforeseen challenges, and inadequate communication.
  • Effective change management acts as an anchor, preventing organizational change from drifting back to pre-change habits.
  • Change management reinforcement is a strategy that encourages employees to adopt and maintain the desired new behaviors.
  • Tactics to reinforce change include ongoing training, mentorship and peer support, communication and feedback loops, adoption KPIs tracking, environmental cues, leader role modeling, and recognition.

Why Does Change Lose Momentum?

Before you can work to sustain change in an organization, you need to understand why change loses momentum. Several factors contribute to the fading of initial enthusiasm for change initiatives:

  • Lack of Reinforcement: Without ongoing support and reminders, new behaviors can easily slip back into old routines.
  • Competing Priorities: The daily grind of work can push the new initiative to the back burner, especially as deadlines and urgent tasks take center stage.
  • Unforeseen Challenges: Implementing change is rarely a smooth ride. New obstacles and frustrations can chip away at employee motivation.
  • Inadequate Communication: A lack of clear and consistent communication can breed confusion and uncertainty, leading employees to revert to familiar patterns.

All-in-One Organizational Change Management Templates Software


OCM Toolkit for Change Managers and Teams. Change Impacts


The Power of Change Management Reinforcement

Effective change management acts as an anchor, preventing organizational change from drifting back to pre-change habits. A crucial tool within change management is reinforcement, a strategy that encourages employees to adopt and maintain the desired new behaviors associated with the change.

A change management reinforcement strategy will typically be planned for the phase after a new initiative has gone live. The change management team provides support in multiple ways to encourage sustaining organizational change. We’ll explore these next.


Do you have any questions about how to sustain organizational change using change management strategies? Please reach out and let us know!


How Do You Sustain Change in an Organization?

Ongoing Training and Coaching

One reason that employees may revert to old ways of doing things is because they need more training or coaching. Once people start using a new process or tool in their workflow, learning gaps can appear that did not show up during pre-launch training.

Provide ongoing training sessions and coaching opportunities to solidify employee understanding of the new processes and equip them with strategies to overcome ongoing challenges.

Mentorship and Peer Support

Sustaining change in organizational leadership is essential to sustaining change adoption among the impacted stakeholders. People follow the lead of those that they look up to and trust.

A network of mentors and peer supporters can provide ongoing guidance and encouragement. This fosters accountability and a supportive environment that reinforces the new behaviors.

Communication and Feedback Loops

Actively discuss how to sustain change in an organization with the individuals and groups that are required to change and who may be facing challenges. A change champions and agents network can be a big help in this area.

Maintain open communication channels throughout the change process. Encourage feedback from employees and address concerns proactively. Regular updates highlighting the progress and benefits of the change keep employees engaged.

Adoption KPIs Tracking

Integrate the desired behaviors and outcomes of the change initiative into your change management reinforcement system. This establishes a clear link between adopting the change and employee success.

For example, tracking log-ins by department for a new ERP system could be a way to see which departments are adopting the change – using the new system – and which may need more change management reinforcement.

OCM Apps for Organizational Change Management - Change Risks


OCM Software for Organizational Change Management

Environmental Cues and Reminders

Utilize the physical environment to reinforce the new behaviors. This could include signage, desktop wallpapers, or software prompts that remind employees of the new processes and benefits.

These types of engagements should be included in your OCM communication plan and change management reinforcement strategy from the start. This way, they’ll be ready to deploy as a support for how to sustain organizational change for the initiative.

Leader Visibility and Role Modeling

Leaders play a crucial role in sustaining change. Their visible support for the initiative and demonstration of the desired behaviors sends a powerful message throughout the organization.

Part of the change management team’s job is sustaining change in organizational leadership, so leadership can be a model to their direct reports and down through the organization.

Recognition and Rewards

When you discuss how to sustain change in an organization, don’t miss the importance of praise and tangible rewards. A little gratitude goes a long way in encouraging employees in sustaining organizational change.

Acknowledge and celebrate employees who exemplify the desired behaviors. This could include public recognition, team shout-outs, or performance-based rewards.


Please reach out if you have feedback and would like to discuss how to sustain change in an organization further. We’d love to hear from you!


Reinforcement in Action: Examples

Here are some examples of how a change management reinforcement strategy can be applied:

A new customer service initiative emphasizes empathy and active listening.

Managers can recognize customer service representatives who consistently demonstrate these skills through team meetings and performance reviews.

An organization implements a new project management tool.

Peer change champions can provide ongoing support to colleagues struggling with the new software.

A company shifts to a more flexible work schedule.

The organization can update its office environment to better accommodate remote work and collaboration, reinforcing the new work style.

Making a Case for Change Management


Post-Go-Live Support Strategies to Sustain Change in an Organization

Here are some resources you can leverage to sustain change in an organization once an initiative has gone live.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Creating a comprehensive FAQ document is essential. Anticipate common questions and concerns that employees may have after the change. Address topics related to the new processes, tools, and any adjustments. 

Office Hours or Drop-In Sessions

Host regular office hours or drop-in sessions where employees can seek personalized assistance. These sessions create a safe space for employees to discuss their challenges openly and help in sustaining organizational change.

Change Champions Network

Leverage your change champions or agents network. They can serve as peer mentors, helping colleagues navigate the new processes. Encourage them to share their experiences, tips, and best practices. Regular check-ins with change champions help in sustaining change in organizational leadership.

Feedback Channels

Establish feedback channels for employees to share their experiences and pain points. Whether through surveys, suggestion boxes, or virtual town halls, actively seek input and use to identify areas for improvement.

User Guides and Training Materials

Continue providing user guides, job aids, and training materials. These resources should be easily accessible and updated as needed. Consider creating short video tutorials or infographics to reinforce key concepts. 

Continuous Learning Opportunities

Offer continuous learning opportunities after an initiative has launched. Consider lunch-and-learn sessions, webinars, or workshops related to the change. Invite external experts or internal thought leaders to share insights.

OCM Toolkit for Change Managers and Teams. Change Impacts


How to Sustain Organizational Change: Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation

The key to successful change reinforcement lies in continuous monitoring and adaptation. Regularly assess the effectiveness of your reinforcement strategies through surveys, focus groups, and performance metrics.

Be prepared to adjust your approach based on employee feedback and emerging challenges. This flexibility can be built into your change management reinforcement strategy from the start.


Conclusion: Sustaining Organization Change Successfully

Change management doesn’t stop when an initiative is deployed. By focusing on reinforcement strategies – recognition, ongoing support, clear communication, and environmental cues – you can encourage employees to adopt and sustain the new behaviors associated with the change.

Remember, the goal is not just to implement change, but to build a culture of change where continuous improvement becomes a way of life. Through effective reinforcement, you can transform your organization into a place where change is not just tolerated, but embraced, leading to long-term success and a future fueled by innovation and adaptability.


OCMS Portal - Software for OD and Change

OCM Software to Support Change Reinforcement

Need to track custom adoption metrics? Want to send a survey designed to ask questions related to change reinforcement? You can find all that and more in the OCMS Portal.

This all-in-one change management system combines simplicity, structure, and insightful analytics making it an invaluable tool for sustaining organizational change.

Sign up for a free trial now.


All-in-One OCM Apps for Organizational Change Management


Making a Case for Change Management


FAQ: How to Sustain Organizational Change

Why do some teams fail in sustaining organizational change?

Several factors contribute to the fading of initial enthusiasm for change initiatives. These include a lack of reinforcement, competing priorities, unforeseen challenges, and inadequate communication.

How do you sustain change in an organization?

It’s important to have a change management reinforcement strategy that focuses on supporting impacted stakeholders after an initiative has been launched. OCM reinforcement includes several activities that help employees sustain change in an organization.

What are some post-go-live support resources?

When learning how to sustain organizational change, it’s important to know the resources that can help. Here are some resources you can leverage to sustain change in an organization: FAQs, office hours, a change champions network, feedback channels, user guides and training materials, and continuous learning opportunities.



Note: Content on OCM Solution's ocmsolution.com website is protected by copyright. Should you have any questions or comments regarding this OCM Solutions page, please reach out to Ogbe Airiodion (Change Management Lead) or the OCM Solutions Team today. OCM Solution was previously known as Airiodion Global Services (AGS).

External Sources: stock.adobe.com