Managing Remote, Organizational Change During Uncertain Times

Raise your hand if it seems every time you check your inbox, you see a new COVID-19 update.

Raise your hand if you’ve felt overwhelmed in the past few weeks.

Now, raise your hand if you just cannot seem to keep up with recent organizational changes.

Whether you answered “yes” to one, or all of the above, you are not alone. In today’s organizational environment, policies, procedures and safety regulations are changing at an hourly rate. Attempting to comply with these modifications can seem extremely exhausting, and that is understandable! On top of all that necessary change, throw in remote working and it’s easy to feel lost.

Luckily, managing said changes is not impossible! While it can feel overwhelming today, we at allsynx have come up with some great change management tools best utilized among remote employees. We encourage you to take a look at the following, and try them out!

1. Class Creation

When working remotely, it is more difficult to interact face-to-face! When a major change does happen, use it as an opportunity for video communication. Training Coordinators, human resource staff, or even executive levels at allsynx are encouraged to create video material explaining changes. They will briefly introduce how this change will affect the company, additional tips and warm wishes. By creating a video your message will be more entertaining, your tone is more easily portrayed, not to mention the video can be played repeatedly by any employee at any time.

2. Content Creation

Another great way to manage change is via content. At allsynx, we utilize an application called Canva to create infographics and other colorful documents. It is important that your content explains exactly what the change might be. If the change is smaller, an infographic highlighting key points would be a great resource to employees. If the change is larger, a wiki might be a better option. In this case, the content would be more detail specific and usually written in paragraphs. I personally have also utilized Microsoft products such as PowerPoint and Word to create supporting content for videos.

3. Individual Buy-In

Employee buy-in is an important, if not the most important, part to implementing a successful change. Without the buy-in, a new change may not stick. Taking a snapshot of what the world looks like today, it is impossible to predict every situation individuals may be dealing with. With that being said, in order to gain buy in, it is crucial you give your employees time to comprehend the change. There will be mistakes, but we encourage you to be gracious during this uncertain time.

4. Be a Silent Partner

When it comes to managing organizational change, whether you are a supervisor, manager, or training coordinator, it’s time to get nosey! Changes are happening left and right in today’s corporate climate, so in order for you to manage this change you need to be aware of how your organization is impacted by it. In the words of my wise supervisor, “get creepy”! Ask to sit in on meetings with other coworkers and teams, participate in a peer knowledge transfers and get a good feel of what vibe is. By doing a little digging, you can best approach this change head on!

5. No Change Is Too Small

I will say, this one is easy to assume! In the past, I have made the mistake of assuming a change is “not worth” a formal approach. On several occasions, I have failed to take into consideration the overall affect of a change, whether it be a large change or a small one. If you remember nothing from this article, I urge you to take my lessons learned on this to heart! Just because a change may seem “obvious” or “not relevant”, it is important to formally roll out any change in a strategic manner. This does not mean every change must be released as a video and document, but rather that you approach every new change with the same enthusiasm.

6. Employee Feedback

Different changes can affect employees in different ways. It is impossible for you to know exactly what is going with everyone, which is why employee feedback is so important. To best manage change, allsynx gathers feedback a couple different ways. One of the great resources I utilize is SurveyMonkey to send out roll out surveys. The results I review can be anything from, “how are you feeling about this change”, to “how much more productive are you since this change was implemented?”. In addition to survey feedback, shared positions also host what we call Networking Meetings. These meetings serve as a space for employee who share the same job title to come together and discuss current organizational topics. Networking meetings have no starting agenda, but instead rely on the individual to speak up on constraints they are facing. They are especially helpful when process changes are released and I encourage you to join these as a silent partner. Lastly, we also have an outlet for anonymous employee feedback. It is a great idea to set up a virtual comment box where employees can submit concerns they wouldn’t otherwise bring up. It’s a great option for the more introverted employees dealing with the change!

7. Virtual Communication

One of the more popular tools we use at allsynx is virtual communication. Our employees love utilizing fun gifs, emojis and more over instant messaging, which is why we decided to depend on it when managing change. The fact of the matter is, no one likes change and it’s rarely met with grace. This is why it is so important to utilize a space where employees are comfortable. At allsynx, we use Microsoft Teams and created a separate “channel” dedicated to just questions and answers. It’s proven to work extremely well for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it helps level the playing field. Instead of an employee going to his/her supervisor to ask a question, they are able to ask anyone in the company. In turn, anyone is able to answer any question. The responsibility and accountability is now shared among all employees and change seems to be accepted more quickly.

That all being said, we are all in this together! Give your employees time to adapt to the many changes I know are coming your way, and in the end your organization will become stronger and well adjusted.

Stay healthy out there!

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