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Change Management as a Constant in the New Normal

By Geri Carroll 06.10.20 Coworkers greeting during COVID-19 pandemic, elbow bump

To say that this global pandemic changed our ways of working seems like a bit of an understatement. The popular Change Management book, Switch, by Chip and Dan Health, dives into many topics surrounding people’s ability to manage change, but a key theme that resonates during this pandemic is that willpower (i.e. ability to deal with change) is like a muscle — it can (and will) become fatigued and exhausted.  As part of our change management team at Silverline, we are always on top of finding ways to predict and prepare for change along with developing strategies that allow individuals and teams to adapt as smoothly and successfully as possible, and at the ideal pace. 

As we continue on in quarantine, with some states open and others slowly coming out of lock down, it’s good to take a step back and consider the impact that remote work is having on organizations and most importantly, the people building their new normals for both work and personal life. 

Even here at Silverline, where a good portion of our team works from home the majority of the time, we are feeling the mounting pressure of these changes on our team, and our clients.

What to consider when implementing a new normal

While it may seem like people on your team have adjusted, it is actually a critical time to think about key change management practices to ensure your organization is able to support people through any fatigue and exhaustion they may be feeling as a result of having to constantly harness their willpower to navigate these changes.

Here are a few simple ways your organization can leverage change management tactics to stay engaged and supportive of their people as the novel virus continues to affect us all:

Create space to share and reflect.

While we are all quite familiar with Zoom meetings by this point, there are still plans that come up each week that are impacted by this move to virtual. For example, we were recently modifying a client training strategy in preparation for their Salesforce Go Live. We made the tough decision to move the live training events that we had been planning for months to virtual. It was clear this was the right decision for the organization, however, many people on the team felt very disappointed and frustrated by this change. We took a moment as a team to talk about these feelings of disappointment openly, and grieve the loss of our original strategy and vision. It is important to acknowledge these feelings of disappointment, frustration, and loss when they occur, and allow people to express how they feel. 

As offices reopen, it is also important to give space for individuals to express their feelings and concerns about new manners of interacting.

Embrace and encourage the opportunity to innovate.

On the other side of this loss, is an opportunity to create something new. In working with our client to modify our training strategy for a virtual event, we brainstormed some ideas on how to bring their employee-focused, engaging culture into the virtual realm. From on camera wardrobe themes contests to virtual polls and games, nothing was off the table. Encourage your teams to think creatively about how to engage with each other and their work in the midst of changes.

Understand that the new normal is anything but.

We are all beginning to see some promise of the new normal that has been talked about for the past several months. With each state having its own unique approach and families their own unique circumstances, it is important for organizations and people to plan to continue to accommodate and adapt to change. This pandemic has truly transformed the way organizations and people function. Whether working from home or back in the office — support systems, communication and innovation channels for continued change management, and transformation need to remain alive and well for employees in the long term. 

Take some time to consider this and examine what your organization needs for the long run to undergo a true digital transformation, allowing both your organization and people to effectively cope and manage ongoing change, ultimately creating a business and culture that supports this. This is especially important as cities reopen and workforces can return to their offices.

Change management, simplified

As a platinum partner of Salesforce, Silverline has been blazing the trail to help organizations undergo digital transformation, and leverage change management to fully adopt new ways of working and technology. We’re also pretty good at working remotely

Our client services team along with our change management team can help your organization figure out what works best for you, and tailor digital solutions to meet your team’s needs. When you’re ready to make certain your team is equipped to continue to work through uncertain times — reach out.

Ready to see real results? We can help.

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