to Weber Shandwick research, 55% of employees who have recently gone through a
change event wanted more social and digital interaction with their employer.
Although not a replacement for face-to-face engagement, internal social media
is becoming a more and more important component of an effective change
management strategy – especially given the global and dispersed nature of
today’s workforce. Regardless of the change event – from a CEO transition to an
acquisition – it can shorten the distance between leaders and employees,
empower employees to help influence the future state, offer camaraderie and a
space to process, and drive employee behavior change.
a global healthcare company undertook the introduction of a new operating model
that impacted where and how work got done across the organization, they looked
to break through the noise and demonstrate greater authenticity by moving from
1-way information cascades to a more interactive way of engaging with their
stakeholders. They needed employees to both understand the business
rationale for the change and commit to a new way of working.
company considered a wide range of tools that would help them leverage internal
social media as a change management tool – from a mobile app that people
managers going through launches could leverage to communicate with one another,
to "Jam” sessions hosted on Yammer that allow small groups of employees around
the world to ask real-time questions of project leaders in a protected
environment, to employee-narrated videos explaining the "before” and "after”
posted to an internal video sharing platform for liking, commenting and
sharing. They also considered creating a viral, competitive internal social
campaign that invited employees to commit to the new way of working by posting one
thing they would do differently in the future state; they would then track
commitments by region until 100% of employees had pledged their support.
Because the company has a more conservative culture, encouraging this
type of openness, transparency and engagement is taking time, but early
feedback suggests that employees are moving along the change continuum from
resistance to acceptance and have a clear understanding of the case for change.
interested in adding social to their change management quiver should take time
to assess their tools, develop a risk mitigation plan, convert their leaders
and track key metrics along the way.
This post was contributed by Sarah Clayton, Executive Vice President with Weber Shandwick. Sarah recently participated as a panel member for a presentation on Communicating Change. This blog share some of the highlights of the role of social media in effective change communication. More information about Sarah may be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-jensen-clayton-091b86