Improving Change Management in the Age of Remote Work

The era of remote work may be an aberration in the way we work, but it is a reality we live with and changes need to take place. As such, your change management strategy is essential.

Even when 70% of changes fail may still be the subject of much debate, one thing is certain is that change will fail when organizations do not plan properly and when there is no effective change management strategy. Situations like the massive and unexpected transfer of employees to remote work can really disrupt change management initiatives. Increasingly, this requires effective change management.

Why? The COVID-19 pandemic was an ill wind, and it didn’t do anyone any good. Businesses, governments and individuals are still reeling from its devastating effects. Changes and dramatic changes, such as remote service and condition monitoring, have now become a necessity; as a result of these dramatic changes have emerged unprecedented cybersecurity risks and challenges.

While all of this is glaring, any organization that has already implemented an effective change management strategy may not have been hit so hard. In this era of remote work and based on the fact that many employees have expressed interest in continuing remote work even after the world has been able to find the solution to the pandemic, you must come up with effective strategies for managing the change to improve change management.

Change management encompasses all the ways you can prepare, support and help teams, employees and your organization through change, can be initiated by any of the following:

  • Emerging technologies
  • Redesign of legacy systems
  • Dismissals
  • Mass hiring
  • Response to the crisis
  • Improve the customer experience
  • Gain relevance and competitive advantage
  • Acquisitions and mergers
  • Restructuring at managerial level

The change you wish to undertake may require a reorientation of budgets, human and financial resources, processes and operations. If your goal is only to manage the change of people and teams, you can focus on change management, but when you have to embark on total organizational change of the whole company, you will have to focus on managing organizational change.

Whichever one you progress with, your ultimate goal will be to leverage a strategic approach to take your business operations and processes to the next level to add more value to your customers and the organization.

Change management strategy

Without a change management strategy, you will embark on change that has no roadmap, and it will do little to benefit your customers and the organization. Other than that, your employees won’t have the right focus; your resources will be wasted in the long run.

A well-defined strategy specifies the goal, the goal, the goal and the direction you want the change to follow. It defines the characteristics and characteristics of change; the timing, risks, limits, potential employee resistance and progression of change will be well defined.

A change management strategy facilitates the transition for everyone who has a role to play in the change initiative. No two shifts are the same, so you need to have a strategy for all the different types of shifts.

For example, the change management strategy you need to replace senior management in the age of remote work can never be the same as deploying new technology to ensure your remote workforce can collaborate. easily.

Any change has its processes, challenges and associated risks. Your strategy should consider how the change will affect your employees, ease of adoption, and feasibility of use.

Design a change management strategy

Now that you understand the need for a change management strategy, the next step is to design one. However, you need to know what you want to achieve and you can help the organization move forward with the change management strategy by eliminating some pain points.

1. Map the characteristics of change

A good step to quickly map out the features or characteristics of the change management strategy is to prepare a list of questions you need to answer; the following can be your guide:

  • Have you determined the magnitude of the change?
  • Is the change targeting employees, customers, the supply chain or the organization?
  • Do you know how many people the change will affect?
  • How do you intend to support everyone that the change will have an impact?
  • Is everyone on the same wavelength with the change?
  • What exactly do you want to change?
  • Do you have a deadline for making the change?

Straightforward answers to these questions will help you focus on the strategy you want to design.

2. In-depth knowledge of your organization

A good change management strategy in the era of remote work needs to take an inside look at how the organization works. Organizational history and culture are key to the strategy you want to design.

You must have good reasons that justify the need for this change now that your organization is working remotely.

To what extent do your managers and employees believe in this change? If you have made changes before, who managed them? How successful were the changes you made before you started working from home? Does everyone in the organization have a common goal? Are you currently making a change in the organization? How flexible is your organizational culture?

A thorough knowledge of what is going on in your organization puts you on a good footing to design a change management strategy.

The next step is to actually create your change management strategy, but you need to be aware of the following powerful elements that should feature prominently in your strategy.

Line-up

Your strategy should explicitly specify the roles of the project team and the change management team; often there is confusion as to who plays a particular role. If not specified, your change initiative may be blocked.

There must be a leader, most likely from the project team, in the change management team who ensures a harmonious relationship between the two teams. It will alleviate friction if your strategy defines responsibilities and also supports resources.

Sponsorship Coalition

There is usually a main sponsor who authorizes and initiates the change; this person may not be able to oversee the change individually, especially when the change involves different departments and sections of the organization. To improve the fluidity of the change project, the lead sponsor is forming a coalition of stakeholder sponsors which will include C-suite members and department heads.

If the change does not affect all departments, it is advisable to choose your coalition of sponsors from the sections that will be directly affected by the change. These leaders should be people your employees can trust and who will influence their decisions.

This is important in mitigating the friction that arises from many change projects. An effective communication channel is of great importance.

Conclusion

The era of remote work may be an aberration in the way we work, but it is a reality we live with and changes need to take place. Your change management strategy is critical at this stage, and it enables you to identify risks and areas of resistance that may arise early on and be proactive in addressing these issues.

When you have a change management strategy, it becomes relatively easier to develop a plan. The plan will include essential details such as the scope of the change, the budget you need, how to ensure collaboration between teams and the expected timing of the conclusion.

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