Leading Change: A Necessity

L'équipe Talkspirit
L'équipe Talkspirit
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Temps de lecture : 4 minutes

No simple recipe exists for driving the digital transformation and installing the new work methods it requires. To lead this profound change, we must transform our communication and training. But we must first break out of the methods that are still so prevalent in companies, where support for change is reduced to a communication and training plan. In order to embark the entire company on this transformation, we must start by embodying it.

All management teams’ clocks are set on collaboration

In 2016, Club Med made a decision that caused quite a stir in the area of management. The company merged its digital, marketing and CIO departments so that everyone was on the same page and shared the same priorities to face digital transformation challenges. On e-commerce and marketing issues, digital, marketing and IT profiles now collaborate as agile tribes. Deputy IT directors work with the business lines for internal topics or with the HR department for projects concerning employees. An executive committee brings together all the players.

At Allianz France, everyone worked from home, but synergy has been key. Housed within the digital department, the team in charge of leading the digital transformation at the employee level works with the HR, IT and communication departments. Whatever the formula chosen, the quest for cohesion is combined with the ability of each collaborator to make her or his own contribution. The growing importance of HR departments in change projects involving employees is proof of this. At Orange, sponsor of the Plazza enterprise social network, the HR department includes it in the employee experience and considers its use a question of increasing employee skills—both in their work habits and career skills, thanks to the connections and exchanges the social network allows. An HR color that participates in Plazza’s adoption dynamics.

Also read: 7 Unbeatable Arguments to Convince Your General Management to Deploy an Enterprise Social Network 

Giving the transformation meaning

The search for speed shouldn’t come at the expense of purpose. Explain the great movements that are shaking up the world, how they’re impacting businesses. This is just what Air France has done.

Before embarking on its internal transformation, the company first gave meaning to its strategy. It explained employees why it was offering an enterprise social network, placing the initiative in the context of what was expected of an employee in 2020 in terms of taking initiatives and new ways of working. At the core: the image of a connected and innovative employee. A condition without which employees would not have joined the movement, because they wouldn’t have understood why they had to transform their work habits.

Also read: “Transformation, sure, but not without a commitment” (M. Grondin)

Involving employees

If giving meaning is a first condition for getting employees on board, placing them at the heart of the change is a second. For its collaborative intranet project, the Grenoble-Alpes metropolitan area organized participatory workshops to bring together employees from various departments and divisions. Getting them to work together made it possible to design the backbone of the future platform. Once the project had progressed, the agents were also asked to conduct ergonomics tests. A call for volunteers was issued to all agents.

Against all expectations, in addition to the employees already involved, a wide variety of other profiles expressed interest: maintenance workers, garbage collectors, assistants… These different initiatives to stick to the reality of the community have facilitated the acceptance of the collaborative intranet. Moreover, the involved employees who spoke about their experience to their colleagues aroused their curiosity and made them want to discover the new platform.

Also read: Interactivity or Else!

Collaboration needs revealed in a playful way

Failure to collect the team’s real needs means running the risk that they will ignore the collaborative platform because they see no benefit from it. Conversely, the consultation phase has its own pitfalls: insufficient feedback, focusing on one topic of discussion to the detriment of others, a conversation monopolized by a few participants…

The IESEG (a private French college of management) has avoided these pitfalls thanks to a platform revisiting the needs definition phase in a playful way. The advantage of this solution is that it’s collaboration-oriented, helping to reveal practices and needs in this area through some 40 common use cases. It’s like asking for the opinion of an expert with whom to share a document in editing mode. For each scenario, the players were asked to specify the context of the collaboration situation, its frequency, the importance they attach to it and the tools they use. In addition, a Quiz module allowed users to test their knowledge of the collaborative platform and become aware of its full potential.

Agile and personalized training

Providing tutorials or user guides and implementing major conventional training plans is still one of the main change management activities. But for what achievements? For its retail bank, BNP Paribas has made another choice, with a platform on which its 14,000 employees are invited to devote a single minute a day to answer two questions related to a concept to be learnt. The platform analyzes the employee’s answers and builds a personalized career path accordingly. This solution also uses gamification.

Each connection entitles you to participation stars and any correct answer to a knowledge key, which can be converted into a gift. However, the value of the latter is less important than the recognition brought by this playful dimension. As for the effectiveness of the system, it pays off in the long run with minimal effort on the part of the employees.

Also read: Digital Transformation: No, Public Service isn’t Lagging Behind!

Transforming management practices to lead change

In 2016, a study conducted by OpinionWay revealed surprising data: 75% of managers surveyed felt their enterprise social network was an answer to their daily challenges, but only 25% of managers said they used it on a daily basis. At GRDF, a review of the social network launched in 2012 revealed less-than-favorable results in terms of perceived interest. To get all managers on board, the company therefore set up specific support for them. The first step? Showing them the benefits that social networking can bring them on a daily basis, based on feedback from their peers. Next, making them aware of the evolution of their role—less focused on technical knowledge and more on team leadership.

In the necessary management support, a specific population can play an essential role: that of top managers. By appropriating the tool for their own needs, they can help promote it throughout the company, but particularly among managers. From this point of view, the situation seems to have changed. Collaborative projects now occupy a central place in transformation plans. As they promoting new work practices, top management is now becoming more involved. They are no longer content to simply give the initial impetus. At the Agence Française de Développement, for example, the social network was in the pilot phase when the CEO decided to use it to build a strategic orientation plan. The consequence of this simple initiative was to speed up the widespread deployment of the social network.

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