Why is a change management strategy important for remote workers?
By definition, a change management strategy is really addressing the “people” side of change, making sure those in your company embrace the transformation effectively, quickly accept it, and adapt. Unfortunately, people are naturally resistant to change and they won’t adopt a new solution unless they know it’s necessary — and even then, they won’t be happy about adopting that necessary solution unless they can quickly and easily enjoy all the benefits.
We know that the last year has been hectic for organisations everywhere, however, and that means things have had to move much more quickly than they normally would have. While the road up until this point may have been a bit bumpy, employees have shown exceptional resiliency. Now that your organisation is accepting the fact that change needs to happen, you have the opportunity to explain why and how everyone can truly benefit from it. After all, it’s never too later to begin a change management strategy in order for everyone to adapt, utilise, and sustain the changes made.
A successful change management strategy should help organisations work through resistance, while showing employees how to extract the most value from new solutions. Prosci’s Best Practices in Change Management benchmark studies support this concept, finding that “93 percent of participants with excellent change management met or exceeded objectives, while only 15 percent of those with poor change management met or exceeded objectives.”
Without a strategy in place, you’re setting yourself up for a loss of time, loss of money, and loss of productivity. But with a great plan, the inverse will be true. Here are a few ways that a change management strategy will actively benefit your remote employees.
1. Determining current change-related stressors
The beginning of 2020 was turbulent - with public health authorities sounding the alarm about COVID-19, organisations didn’t have much time to select helpful technologies and ease employees into a new way of working. Employees had even less time to prepare; they just had to pack up, leave the office, and wait for whatever the next day would bring. This abrupt change exerted a lot of pressure on employees.
One of the first steps when creating an adoption change management strategy is to understand how much these changes have shaken your organisation, and how certain groups of employees feel about them. This will allow you to understand which pain points you need to overcome in order to successfully implement new technology.
2. Improve productivity
When a team is asked to use new technology, productivity often decreases - even if they’re given a solution that should theoretically improve productivity. The reason for this comes down to two things: Stress, and a lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, following the shift to remote work, employees are struggling with both.
We’ve already covered how ACM strategies can help you find and resolve sources of stress in the workplace, but ACM can also help ensure your team has all the human help necessary to hear out employee concerns and provide thoughtful answers. Furthermore, ACM ensures that everyone is following a similar methodology when adopting and using the platform, reducing the potential for miscommunication and misunderstandings when they work collaboratively.
3. Boost morale
When you ask employees to start over with a new platform and abandon the ones they used to rely on, morale is bound to take a hit. It’s easy to imagine why - some employees will have years of experience with a specific platform and feel that shifting to a new solution makes their current knowledge less valuable. This can lead to teams having intense negative feelings about new technology, which can hold back change initiatives as a whole.
A change management strategy will help you communicate more openly with your employees. Instead of letting them gossip and lament about the change, actively ask for and welcome their questions and concerns in open discussions. If needed, you can work in all kinds of team-building training activities to ensure they are learning while improving morale.