How to Design a Change Management Procedure for the Remote World

To achieve change in today’s digital, remote workplace, managers must redesign their existing change procedure and build one that works in a virtual work environment.

After all, in 2020, enterprises around the world were forced to begin operating remotely, due to public health and safety concerns. Those organizations that could swiftly change and operate remotely were able to keep up and maintain profitability.

Those that were slower to adapt, however, had a harder time maintaining business continuity – let alone innovating and achieving market growth.

However, as we move forward into the post-COVID next normal, it is important to continually rethink and redesign businesses. After all, the coming years may hold as much uncertainty as 2020.

How to Design a Change Management Procedure for the Remote Workplace

From organizational restructuring to organizational culture change, digital trends are driving extensive business transformation across the globe.

Yet these disruptive changes are occurring so rapidly and so often that it is important not only to change continually, but to redesign the way we implement organizational change.

Next, we’ll look at four tips that can help companies redesign their change management procedure for today’s digital-first, remote workplace.

Leverage full-service project management solutions

There are many change management platforms and tools that can help change leaders streamline workflows, reduce workloads, and improve performance.

Here are just a few examples of project management tools that can help:

  • Full-service change management platforms help managers organize teams, collaborate, track changes, and optimize their change projects
  • Project management platforms, such as Wrike or Zoho Projects, offer all the features project managers need, including scheduling, chat functionality, document sharing, setting milestones, and more
  • Task management tools, such as Trello or Asana, optimize repeatable workflows, or pipelines, making it easy for teams to stay productive and in sync

Since tools such as these can be used remotely, they are becoming more and more essential to staying productive in today’s digital workplace.

Use remote digital training platforms

The modern enterprise runs on digital tools and software, which is why employee skills and training are so crucial.

Training in the remote workplace, however, can be a challenge.

After all:

  • Trainers cannot be present and provide face-to-face guidance to employees as they learn
  • Employees may feel intimidated if they need to contact technical support too frequently
  • Workers who spend too much time overcoming technical hurdles may become discouraged and unproductive

For reasons such as these, it is important to find a digital training plan that can work both remotely and in-person.

Here are a few examples:

  • Digital adoption platforms offer automated, in-app guidance to users, without the need for human intervention
  • Chatbots and virtual assistance can help employees zero in on problems quickly and efficiently, while also reducing the need for technical support
  • Knowledgebases and other self-service solutions can help employees find answers to technical questions quickly and efficiently
  • Video courses and on-demand learning content can augment online training sessions, such as webinars

A comprehensive remote training plan, in other words, can dramatically improve employees ability to learn – and, as a result, their ability to implement new organizational changes.

Rethink employee management for the remote workplace

Workplace management has undergone major changes in 2020, as most business professionals can attest to.

Among other things, managers have had to find new ways to manage remote workers, maintain accountability, and engage employees.

Effective management is important enough during stable times, but it is even more important when managers must implement change procedures remotely.

Here are a few ways that managers can improve their remote employee management:

  • Strictly maintain daily check-ins and daily team meetings, which can help maintain a sense of structure
  • Give employees time to socialize online and engage in “virtual water cooler chats,” which can help improve team communication
  • Turn towards data and analytics as a means of tracking employee performance

Techniques such as these can not only help with day-to-day workplace management, they can become very useful when forming new teams and implementing new change procedures.

Cultivate a digital-first workplace culture

Many traditional workplaces have been slow to adopt new digital tools and, as a result, many have had a harder time keeping up in the digital economy.

As we move forward into the 2020s, having a digital-first workplace will become more and more important and will ultimately separate the digital leaders from the digital laggards.

Training, as mentioned above, is one of the most important ways to ensure employees can keep up with such changes.

But effective change also depends on organizational culture.

Here are a few cultural traits that can reduce resistance to change help employees implement digital changes more effectively:

  • A focus on data, analytics, and data-driven processes
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Caring about users and user-centered design
  • Openness to change and new ideas

Naturally, there is no such thing as a “perfect” organizational culture that fits every company and situation. Every company’s culture should be unique.

However, traits such as these can be very useful for organizations that want to redesign change procedures for today’s digital-first era.

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.