9 Examples of Effective Change Management in 2023
Change is inevitable. When a business is static, a steady decline happens across all areas. To stay competitive, your company needs to be constantly changing. It involves continuous employee training, digital transformation, process improvement, and performance monitoring.
To meet changing customer needs and withstand competition from smaller, agile brands, enterprises have to reshape internal processes and elevate organizational change capability. And that requires organizations to develop an overall change management strategy that can be scaled to many organizational change projects.
While 65% of change projects fail, a well-planned change strategy provides organizations with the processes to remove barriers and drive successful change.
71% of organizations implementing a change management strategy completed their projects on schedule. 81% of the projects with an effective change management plan came in on or under budget.
Companies like Microsoft and Booking.com have illustrated excellent examples of successful change management strategies. And if these corporate giants with thousands of employees and established processes have managed to embrace organizational change, your company can too.
In this article, we’ll showcase nine excellent change management examples from leading enterprise companies and breakdown what you can replicate from these successful organizations.
What are great examples of effective enterprise change management?
- Sophos migrated to Salesforce CRM.
- Academic Health System integrated new companies and tools.
- Sykes introduced a new IT roadmap and training program.
- HMRC expanded its customer communication to new digital channels.
- Zurich Life challenged employee habits with a culture of change.
- Sura created a company-wide strategy to tackle many types of change.
- The University of Virginia underwent digital transformation of its higher education institution successfully with a change strategy.
- Microsoft created a change strategy to support its integration of sales automation tools.
- Booking.com effectively migrated from Office 365 to Google Workplace.
What Is Change Management?
Change management is a set of methods to guide an organization through controlled change. A change management strategy is created for each particular case and might differ depending on the type of change you’re conducting. Examples of change management include:
- Implementation of a single new technology, or an overall digital transformation overhaul.
- Company acquisitions and mergers.
- Change in management personnel or style.
- Adapting to market changes.
- Reaching new markets.
- Launching new products.
Depending on the size and impact of the transition, change management can be split into three levels:
- Organizational change management
- Project-level change management
- Individual change management
Regardless of the scale of your change initiative, you need a well-thought-out change management plan. You should carefully define the problem, outline the solution, and set up KPIs to measure the success of that change. You’ll also need to have your team on board and communicate your vision to them.
Among the biggest challenges of change management are resistance to change and a lack of adequate resources for transformation digitally. Let’s see how nine companies in different industries have resolved these challenges.
9 Change Management Examples to Learn From in 2023
These are the most outstanding change management examples of the last decades that will inspire your organizational change in 2023.
1. Sophos migrated to Salesforce CRM
Sophos, a global cybersecurity company, had faced the challenge of managing change due to frequent Salesforce application updates. Sophos used Salesforce to streamline its sales processes, but the sales operations team struggled to keep up with its frequent product updates such as new features, UI enhancements, and workflow changes.
To solve this challenge, operations managers implemented Whatfix, a digital adoption platform (DAP), to provide the team with interactive, on-demand training to navigate updates and master the Salesforce features.
What exactly did Sophos do?
- They created interactive walkthroughs for the basic functionality of Salesforce
- They implemented interactive step-by-step guides to enable employees to receive learning in the flow of work
- They created smart tooltips right within the Salesforce interface to describe each new Salesforce button
- They embedded videos and other media to unify all product communication and align the sales and product management teams
By implementing Whatfix’s digital adoption platform, Sophos succeeded in managing change on Salesforce and reached a 342% return on investment (ROI). You can read the entire Sophos and Whatfix case study here.
2. Academic Health System integrated new companies and tools
A few years ago, a Chicago-based Academic Health System was integrating two new organizations to expand its presence to nearly 100 locations.
To support the health system’s broader acquisition and growth strategy, the leadership recognized the need for an effective change management plan. They needed to create a repeatable, flexible method for addressing the people side of each new integration.
As a part of its change management plan, the organization:
- Embedded a consistent and well-structured approach to change management
- Created a coalition of change practitioners and introduced a series of sponsor meetings every two weeks
- Launched a robust Enterprise Planning Program (ERP) coaching program
- Paired the health system leads with staff members in two new organizations to provide them with in-person guidance through the system
The health system has managed to carry out a seamless ERP implementation and created a standard change management strategy for future integrations.
3. Sykes introduced a new IT roadmap and training program
Sykes, a digital marketing and customer service global outsourcer, struggled to keep up with the swift pace of change. Given the low awareness of the value of embracing organizational change, the company needed to get started with change management with little initial funding.
After seeing the first strong results, Sykes heavily invested in change management, introducing training and application in every region. Here’s what they did:
- Designed a multi-year IT roadmap for deploying change management.
- Incorporated change management into training for managers and the leadership development program.
- Applied change management principles to the call center processes.
Due to a strong change management strategy, Sykes improved sales efficiency and increased profitability in many projects.
4. HMRC expanded customer communication to new digital channels
During the recession, HMRC, a governmental organization, lost many employees which led to frustration across both the workforce and customers. Customer requests were passed from department to department because the team had to stick rigidly to outdated prescribed scripts and workflows. The company sought to reduce handovers and smoothen customer journeys.
To achieve these objectives, HMRC’s leadership team had to find a way to give the workforce greater discretion in handling customer requests and simplifying processes. One more goal was to expand customer communications to online channels.
The organization carried out change step-by-step:
- Generated ideas for handling calls more effectively.
- Came up with the metrics to assess call handling times and the quality of calls.
- Tested change management principles on small scale before going live nationally.
- Updated a telephony system, implemented new technology, and revisited outdated processes.
In a few years, HMRC increased customer satisfaction from 82 to 92 and improved trust between staff and leaders.
5. Zurich Life challenged employee habits with a culture of change
Years ago, Zurich Life, a global insurance company, had become bureaucratic and slow-moving. The company struggled to adapt to changing market conditions and customer behaviors. While the industry was experiencing a change in public policy, regulation, and competition, the executive team finally recognized the need to embrace change and create a lower-cost base.
Aiming to challenge unnecessary processes and change employee habits, Zurich Life took the following steps:
- Implemented software where agents could see all of their clients’ investments in one place.
- Recruited champions to promote change management initiatives and improve employee engagement.
- Reduced bureaucracy.
- Removed silos.
- Gave autonomy to individuals to make decisions.
- Slashed the size and frequency of meetings.
- Encouraged execs to be more visible to the staff.
- Pushed people to reflect on what processes were necessary and which ones were disposable.
As a result of these change management initiatives, Zurich Life improved collaboration, improved customer service, increased the efficiency of meetings, and created a happier workplace.
6. Sura created a company-wide strategy to tackle many types of change
Sura, a financial services leader, was going through several changes at once: digitalization in the pensions department, an innovation initiative, product sales strategy revamp, and the implementation of a new project. To successfully go through it, Sura needed to become a more flexible and modern organization that can quickly enact change.
To achieve success in these projects, the company:
- Prioritized projects and assigned a sponsor, project manager, and change manager to each project.
- Integrated change management and project management.
- Initiated role-based training programs.
- Transitioned from the traditional sales approach of selling one product to selling multiple products to one client.
- Moved 300 employees from fixed office space to a Flex Office Program, which enabled them to work remotely.
- Required 200 staff members to move from paper-based documentation to digital work.
To revamp sales and product processes, the leadership had to overcome resistance from the sales team first. Working with dedicated, invested sponsors has helped them to get the team on board and carry out change.
In doing so, Sura expanded its client base, reduced client turnover by 44%, increased sales, and drove more than $240,000 in cost savings.
7. The University of Virginia underwent digital transformation of its higher education institution successfully with a change strategy
The University of Virginia (UVA) was one of the first organizations in higher education that faced constant change and the challenges that came with it. The leadership witnessed change fatigue across the university because teams were spinning up projects without actually achieving positive results.
The need to address growing change fatigue across the institution made UVA take decisive action. They:
- Certified key individuals to change management methodologies.
- Built change capability into the portfolio work.
- Encouraged project managers to also serve as change managers for their projects.
The organization has eventually managed to deliver on its performance goals and thrive in a shifting institutional environment and successfully managing digital transformation of its higher education institution.
8. Microsoft created a change strategy to support its integration of sales automation tools.
In 2020, Microsoft set a goal to make it easier to track sales and operations across regions and roles. The old system lacked automation and imposed various challenges for Microsoft’s leaders, from data misalignment to duplication of effort and compliance issues.
While understanding they would face several obstacles, the company was determined to build a new solution to meet everyone’s needs. It turns out that even at Microsoft, employees may be resistant to change and not willing to accept new business processes.
- Identified and documented the key blockers of change.
- Asked people driving reporting in each area to become champions of change.
- Had weekly or bi-weekly sessions to prioritize project needs.
- Deployed action plans in areas like delivery, adoption, and business readiness.
- Implemented structured feedback channels to learn the opinions of end-users.
When addressing change management, Microsoft was following the best practices from Prosci, in particular the ADKAR model. The Microsoft team has created a constantly changing environment to improve the platform and adapt it to the employees’ needs.
9. Booking.com effectively migrated from Office 365 to Google Workplace.
After switching to Google Workspace, the Booking.com operations team in the UK realized many people were still using Office 365. They wanted to complete the transition to Google Workspace and establish it as a unified way of working and collaborating across the organization.
- Ran a review and deployment planning workshop to set expectations for the project and establish roles.
- Assigned early adopters that would promote Google Workplace to other employees.
- Rolled out a survey to measure employees’ readiness for the move.
- Designed a training program to guide employees through all Google Workplace features at their own pace.
The transition proved to be as seamless as intended and did not disrupt business processes. Due to a structured training program, the teams didn’t require any assistance with new technology.
The key to successful change management is understanding the obstacles that stand between your organization and a new way of doing things. If it’s resistance to change, it’s on you to communicate the value of the project to everyone involved and address their concerns.
With a digital adoption platform, you can carry out change management initiatives related to introducing new technology and digital processes without friction. Make it easy for your teammates to master new business software with in-app guidance, interactive walkthroughs, smart tips, and in-app support.
Organizations are empowered with behavioral analytics to see how their employees are engaging with new tools and processes to understand how overall adoption is happening.
Embrace digital transformation and have complete control over organizational change with Whatfix.