Enhancing collaboration, communication and teamwork
When thinking about change management initiatives, most of us typically point to organizational changes, new processes, technology deployments, and other big shifts affecting organizations and individuals. Yet, one of the most significant change management projects our Resigility team is working on involves driving behavioral adjustments to enhance collaboration, communication and teamwork.
Start with employee feedback
We started this project by gathering and then assessing input from our client’s 1,200 employees and contractors who are part of a large government agency. Some consistent issues emerged, many of which were exacerbated by continuing remote work:
- It's hard to know what's going on outside my team.
- Our work is mostly done in silos; there’s not a lot of cross-team interaction.
- We need more connections and opportunities for collaboration!
This feedback led us to work with leaders to define a change management strategy aimed at breaking down silos and fostering relationships across the organization. We first looked at existing tools that could be leveraged to help unify the team. In 2020, Resigility supported this 20,000-member agency to successfully deploy Microsoft Teams, as Jeff Anderson describes in this blog. However, we realized that most employees still viewed Teams as merely a Skype replacement for quick chats and teleconferencing, ignoring the breadth of communication and collaboration features.
“We hear you”
With this insight, we redesigned an existing Teams site to make it more user-friendly and easier to connect with coworkers. We also developed a complementary strategy to generate greater site use by rewarding those who engage colleagues through Teams. Instead of reaching out by email, this channel enables employees to easily find and share news, files and information, or ask questions and solicit advice. It also serves as a place for recognition and other “water cooler” conversations. Our rollout and communication plan for this accessible and uncomplicated Teams site is grounded in “we hear you” messaging that reflects and reinforces how the organization is addressing and acting upon employee feedback.
Ultimately, our goal is to improve how this organization operates while opening lines of communication—a tall order, but achievable by following these change management lessons learned:
- Acknowledge “change fatigue” is a big consideration for introducing anything new or different. Today’s workforce is dealing with ongoing fluctuations and tweaks.
- Capitalize on capabilities already in place that can be modified, optimized or revamped, instead of adding a new mechanism.
- Recognize that change takes time, so be patient and set expectations that results won’t happen overnight.
- Stay on message throughout the project by reiterating your value proposition and avoiding distractions.
In my previous product development work, I realized it wasn’t necessarily new or improved products that led to success, it was the ability to manage change. This led to a career pivot and becoming a certified change management practitioner with a passion for helping teams and individuals through transitions. Please feel free to contact me through LinkedIn or our contact site to discuss how Resigility can support your organization better manage the people side of change.