Working digitally during the COVID crisis: sore points and solutions

COVID-19 has impacted us all on a personal as well as a professional level. Over the past months, many organisations have actively started working online and rolled out Teams. Unfortunately, efficiently transitioning into a digital workplace often proves to be a challenge, and some of the advantages offered by the newly implemented tools remain unused. A lot of time, effort and money is invested in the technical aspects of the change project, but the personal needs and concerns of employees are sometimes overlooked.  

In this blog post, we’ll describe some common situations we often encounter as Change Consultants.  

We’ll briefly explain how to let the digital transition happen as smoothly as possible, keeping the ADKAR principles in mind. 

The ADKAR model = Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement  

Resistance: a consequence of insufficient communicatioto employees 

For many people, change is synonymous with uncertainty and fear, which leads them to react with resistance.  We often hear the same reactions in our customers’ offices: “Why do we have to change? Are they even sure that this will work better? I really dont have time for this. Our bosses are forcing us to try something new yet again! How is this change supposed to improve my work routine? - etc, etc. Change is met with adversity from all sides. To counter this and make sure everyone’s noses are pointing in the same direction, you’ll need to communicate clearly and transparently. Don’t just send out a hurried e-mail to all employees or post a quick note on your internal platform. If you want users to embrace the implemented changes, your communication needs to go beyond dry, technical announcements. 

Good communication is essential to create a sense of connection with the employees in your company. It’s important to carry out a clear, coherent and convincing vision of WHY you’re implementing a certain project. On the other hand, it is important to communicate in a very targeted, specific way. When implementing a new tool, keep in mind that your colleagues will be using the tool in very different ways, depending on their role within the company.  

How do we do this? In an initial workshop with your organisation’s project team, we’ll map out the entire organisation and determine the specific target groups. After this, we’ll organise a communication workshop with the project team to determine the communication strategy and fine-tune it for each target group. This will allow you to send out communication that’s tailored to every user group’s specific needs and wants. Your colleagues will feel involved in the change project in a way that feels comfortable for every one of them.   

Employees dont always see the benefits they can reap  

Another problem organisations often face is the fact that their employees are unaware of the advantages of migrating to Office 365. “Whats wrong with the way I currently work? What will happen to my existing documents? We’ve been working this way for years! This comes as no surprise – it’s scary to be pulled out of your comfort zone.  

The keyword here is ‘listen’. As Change Architects, we listen by having interviews with employees from all target groups. These interviews are meant to involve the employees in the thinking process and simultaneously find out what their needs and wants are. By talking with them, we obtain the necessary input to highlight the advantages for each target group and formulate use cases – and it makes the employees feel more involved in the change process. 

For end users, the most important part of a change process are the advantages they will personally benefit from. The question they ask themselves is: Whats in it for me? The answer could be time savings, less work pressure, a more efficient way of working, etc.  

Digital tools arent used to their full extent  

The change process doesn’t stop after the technical aspects have been rolled out; this is the moment when numerous questions arise. The end user still needs to find out how they’re supposed to correctly use the new tool. “In their initial enthusiasm, our staff members have created a chaotic bunch of Teams. People forget that they can collaborate on one document - or maybe they’ve never been informed of this possibility. Communication happens via e-mail way too often. No one is able to find the latest version of a certain document.” 

Your organisation will see a much bigger ROI (Return on Investment) if all employees learn how to efficiently use their new tools. To optimise this, we work with Digital Coaches to offer made-to-measure trainings. These trainings are fine-tuned during the learning workshop with the project team.  

The definitive trainings are always tailored to the company and can include (digital) one-on-one coaching, escape games and group sessions on various levels, from inspirational sessions to sessions for advanced users. The Digital Coaches will guide you and your colleagues step by step to make your change story a success.

Is your organisation about to implement an important change?

Watch this video to discover what our Change Consultants can do for you.

Do you want to know more about our approach or would you like a non-binding offer?  Get in touch with us at +32 2 264 13 20 or saleslearning@xylos.com.    

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Categories: Office 365

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