Infographic

When work happens remotely, what needs to happen with change?

A reality check on virtual change management

With more people working remotely, organizations need new ways to manage organizational change. The success of their strategic initiatives depends on it. But bringing employees along through change when they work apart is not the same as when they’re together in the office.

Here’s what’s different—and what it takes to master the art of change management in a virtual environment.

Culture

AT THE OFFICE

Culture plays out in large and small ways—from strategic decisions to daily interactions.

WHEN REMOTE

Culture can go cold from solitary work and a lack of face-to-face human connections.

PUT IT INTO ACTION

Create a virtual culture to rally employees around change

• Set virtual culture expectations and norms— like always using video feature on calls.
• Get employees comfortable with new technology tools they will rely on during change efforts.
• Solicit employee voice and feedback via virtual channels in real time to drive changes forward.

virtual change management 2

Team

AT THE OFFICE

Employees are easily accountable to their teams and find ways to collaborate organically.

WHEN REMOTE

Employees feel disconnected from their teams, less committed and creative.

PUT IT INTO ACTION

Empower teams with a de-centralized change management approach

• Allow teams to play an active, daily role in motivating and leading colleagues through change.
• Use virtual gamification to encourage friendly competition that sparks change adoption.
• Set aside collaboration time, encourage quick team huddles, and test out online brainstorming tools.

virtual change management 2

Communications

AT THE OFFICE

Signs, banners and swag play a big role in how organizations communicate a change initiative.

WHEN REMOTE

Change communications get lost in a sea of emails and distractions.

PUT IT INTO ACTION

Develop stand-out comms with marketing best practices

• Create an online visual identity and brand, including logos, templates and even a mascot.
• Treat change communications like marketing campaigns, use storytelling to grab attention.
• Add interactive elements to communications to solicit, share, and build on employee feedback.

virtual change management 3

Engagement

AT THE OFFICE

Employees work a similar schedule— like the typical 9 to 5—and are “on” at the same time.

WHEN REMOTE

Schedules are less structured— employees work more flexible, less regular hours.

PUT IT INTO ACTION

Boost engagement with on-demand tools and resources

• Make it easy for employees to engage in change-related activities on their own terms and schedules.
• Offer on-demand, self-guided trainings and asynchronous activities in a variety of virtual formats.
• Centralize change-related activities via online collaborative tools to facilitate anytime access.

virtual change management 4

Influencers

AT THE OFFICE

Informal influencers model desired behaviors, promoting change among others organically

WHEN REMOTE

Fewer opportunities for visible influencers to promote change among employees.

PUT IT INTO ACTION

Make influencers more visible through virtual channels

• Involve influencers in the organizational change strategy and solicit their ideas on how they can make an impact.
• Have influencers participate in virtual meetings and post change-related video content regularly.
• Create a virtual community to connect influencers and employees to discuss change openly.

virtual change management 5

Measurement

AT THE OFFICE

Organizations track progress on change through daily observations and formal and informal check-ins.

WHEN REMOTE

It’s challenging to keep a pulse on how people are adopting change.

PUT IT INTO ACTION

Monitor key leading indicators to keep change on track

• Set strategic change metrics from the start so employees know what success is—
and why it matters to the organization.
• Use quick-turn surveys to continuously check on progress and make adjustments, as necessary.
• Use real-time, visual dashboards so employees can track their progress and contributions to change.

virtual change management 6

Bring your people through change—
no matter where they are working

Our virtual change management approach is designed for the realities of remote working, helping employees and teams engage in change so strategic initiatives succeed.