In early March, Ohio State’s Associate Vice President of Enterprise Applications Mike Anderson knew there would be ripples across the ERP implementation project his team was working on due to COVID-19. With a summer 2020 Workday go–live on the horizon, while ramping up change management activities and starting user testing, the entire university went remote.
Prosci® change management courses helped Mike understand the role of communication in leading a team through change. On a recent webinar, he shared strategies for success in leading projects remotely. How can you optimize virtual meetings?
Turn your camera on. Seeing your team’s faces and allowing them to see yours will help you stay connected. It also helps to “read the room” to see if attendees are understanding what you’re saying.
Connect about topics other than work. If you’re used to catching up about what happened over the weekend when you’re making a cup of coffee, be sure to spend time each week hearing about your associates’ lives and families. Virtual happy hours are a great time for this.
Make time for each other and be intentional about it. Everyone is busy but there is no more important time than now to connect one-on-one with those you lead and those who lead you. Make sure that when you ask, “how are you?” you listen attentively so your team knows you want to know the real answer.
Set up more frequent communication points. Whether it’s a happy hour or all hands meeting, let your team know they‘re not alone.
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you react. You don’t know if your coworker is dealing with a spouse’s job loss or family illness, or maybe just trying to homeschool their kids while working full–time like so many have had to do. Remembering that the change to remote work is hard on people in more ways than one is important.
Set boundaries. When you don’t have a physical commute to decompress it’s hard to separate life from work. Make sure to step outside and get fresh air every day.
See the silver linings. While not having a commute does make it hard to separate life and work, it also gives you time back in the day to spend time with your family or enjoy the summer weather.
Learn from this experience. No one can plan for change, but you can plan for how you will react to it.
Prosci® change management training is a distinct asset that prepares individuals to move through change and adapt to new ways of working quickly. Proven change management tools and best practices are used to help prepare leaders responsible for managing change or to build change management competency within the organization.
To hear more about how The Ohio State University is staying agile during uncertainty, watch our summer chat series webinar, available here.
About the author: Avaap Director of Advisory Consulting Adam Wilson is a proven portfolio and program manager with a focus in project delivery, system integration, solution design, and implementing business process and information technology change. Over the last 20 years he has successfully delivered solutions across industries including retail, banking, and higher education.