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Change-oriented programme management: the combination of communication, change and programme management.
Moving from different offices and processes to a more central, optimised approach at a major insurance broker. An impactful programme that changed the method and working locations for around 1200 employees. But how do you ensure that the management and workforce will understand what is going to happen, why it is necessary, how the change is being approached and they can move in step? This is done by providing programme communication based on change-oriented knowledge.
In order to remain the market leader and continue providing its customers with the best service, the processes within the organisation had to be adapted, most of all in the back office. The back office, split up across different premises throughout the country, could be much more efficient. What was needed here was to centralise the back office, simplify how the processes harmonised with each other and, in the fullness of time, outsource some work. In concrete terms, this meant relocating offices, aligning working processes and reallocating work. In due course, a number of the offices and jobs were to disappear.
The necessary building blocks for the change had been put in place. A programme management team, working closely with the works council, was responsible for keeping the programme on track. This team was supported by the Change Think Tank (a think tank comprising HR, communication and change professionals) that carefully predicted, advocated and considered the impact of the changes on personnel in the change approach.
The initial question to Involve was to assist the programme organisation with the introduction of changes in the organisation. This was not all, however. Over a few years, Involve ended up providing the entire communication on change and process, becoming an active participant in the programme management team and the Change Think Tank.
Before the programme started, the organisation was fully aware that the proposed change would have a significant impact on the organisation. In the early stages, therefore, Involve spent a lot of time creating awareness within the executive and management teams: why are we doing this and what is the impact on people? What is the best way for us to do this? Involve then also provided communications in relation to the change process. Team meetings were held about this programme and the teams had support for the changes that would have an impact on them. This involved the employees in what the changes meant and when the programme would be starting.
Communication interventions also provided the scope and support for processing and achieving the change. The impact on various teams was assessed for each new phase of change or activity. From this, Involve developed appropriate communication interventions based on the clear leading principles that form the basis for the change communication.
At every stage and communication, the intensive collaboration between programme management, the Change Think Tank and Involve ensured that there was a complete, change-oriented communication approach, which allowed employees and managerial staff to understand, embrace and achieve the essence of the programme.