Companies today look different than in the past. They are often spread out over several geographical areas and, with the addition of telecommuting, many employees aren’t even in the office. Communication in this new reality is a bigger challenge, particularly when it comes to change management.
“With today’s workforce comprising of some 43% of workers that say they work from home at least sometimes, effective communication is becoming a pressing issue.” (Source)
Imagine you are the CIO of a major insurance company. You are working on the implementation plan for a company wide software change to a new provider for claims management. This would mean everyone, from the receptionist on up, would be engaging with the new system. You have five claims offices across two time zones and dozens of claims agents who work offsite.
Communicating about the new system in some detail, to ensure that it meets all the business requirements with geographical variations taken into account, is the first step but you are not getting much in the way of feedback from the different claims groups…
Is it because they don’t understand?
Is it because they don’t have time to look at the new parameters?
Change management buy-in
All change management operates under the 20/60/20 rule:
- 20% of employees will be on board and support the change;
- 60% of employees will accept it, but not necessarily be champions of change;
- 20% of employees will not be on board at all.
Aaron Lifshin, CEO and founder of MeetingPulse, had this to say when asked about how technology can help in situations where collaboration is needed: “The only way in which this will be possible is that there is buy-in to these new technologies from the top of the organization.” (Source)
If the C-Suite is on board and acting as champions for change, the key to reaching the 80% who aren’t fully committed is communication. But how do you do that and actually know that you are being effective? How can you take the pulse of the employees you are communicating with and get direct feedback from them?
Technology enables two-way communication
Leveraging technology—like MeetingPulse—enables the two-way communication necessary to not only push out the information, but helps the executive to understand various levels of feedback and to determine where the bottlenecks are in the overall management of the change.
Using our earlier example of the insurance company CIO, a two-way system would allow them to see that the bulk of the negative feedback is coming from the minority of employees who are in a different time zone and would find the real-time communication based software intrusive on their personal time.
The CIO might never have discovered this until much further along in the implementation process without adequate communication platforms in place. While the number of employees affected might be low, it’s necessary for the CIO to figure this out and work to implement a solution that suits everyone!
Using SaaS platforms to manage the message and take the pulse of employees throughout the process just makes sense, whether the communication is a district sales meeting or a corporate wide training initiative. It will save time, money and, more importantly, it will allow everyone to be heard.
Ready to change the way you communicate change across your organization? Request a MeetingPulse demo today.