This article was written by Janine Woelkie.
A few months ago, my colleague Paul O’Hara wrote a really interesting article about IKEA and its approach to digital transformation. What really stood out for me was the acceptance of digital by the executive team at IKEA — over 80% of all their customer journeys start online — and the focus on transformation being a journey, not a destination. Paul wrote: “I think this point is often lost on many executives. Their need to explore digital transformation is not just to keep up with the competition or to try promoting innovation. They need to do it because their customers are already using digital tools to find their products and to interact with their brand. This is 2020 — your customers are using digital tools.”
Apart from the obvious move to work-from-home, a digital transformation wave is one of the most crucial business outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic. For some companies, this is because they are being forced to change their business model rapidly. For others, it is an acceptance that more digital, contact-free types of operating models are now fundamental. Many projects have been accelerated to quickly build solutions that embrace the new normal.
What this means is that transformation and managing change are top of the agenda in many boardrooms. If you need to pivot your core business model while adjusting to work-from-home and remotely train and onboard new team members, you need to think about how to manage change systematically.
In many ways, the post-COVID-19 business environment requires a new approach to business culture. We are learning to blend our online and offline lives differently from before this pandemic. Our TP Cloud Campus system is an example of how Teleperformance has reacted to the new situation. Although launched in 2019, we have dramatically scaled up the service in 2020, now with over 200,000 people working from home.
The TP Cloud Campus is essentially a virtual campus or office environment. It’s possible to hold interviews, meetings, or training in virtual rooms, and by creating this virtual environment, we also maintain the ability to socialize and be engaged with colleagues. Our colleagues using the system have found that it really helps them to remain productive, and we have not seen any reduction in quality. In many cases, quality and productivity have improved because of the more flexible work environment.
But managing change is a lot more than just buying a new technology system or asking your team to all log in to the cloud. Teleperformance has successfully managed its own change during this unusual period because we have supported major organizations worldwide in their respective transformations. When you place your customers and employees at the heart of a transformation strategy, then you can plan a roadmap to the future.
Change management is about more than just planning for new people, processes, and technology. It requires a communication strategy and the ability to build support and trust in a team that may be invested in keeping things just the way they were before the recent crisis. When you need to transform your business, think carefully about how you manage change and which partner can really help beyond just selling a shiny, new virtual solution.
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