“Change is the only constant!”
As India strives to become the 3rd largest economy in the world, a notable shift is happening in the pace of digitization at companies. More and more companies are making digitization of internal processes a strategic mandate. One such process is business travel since digitization will help lower costs and streamlines operations. It’s a win-win situation for both employees and the company.
Most companies are sponsoring digitization for three main goals:
Improve bottom line
Enhance employee experience
Eliminate process inefficiencies
Feeling peachy! Here is a gem from the Harvard Business Review –
“The brutal fact is that 70% of change initiatives fail in organizations.”Harvard Business Review
Don’t fret about the change in your travel process. Change management is natural and integral to your company’s success. Embracing change will help you thrive.
To join the 30% who achieve success with their change, you must have a clear plan for managing the change. Here are some recommendations to make your life easier –
Change Management Gospel # 1: Get your management team’s buy-in
Any change will generate negative feedback when you start, just as Newton’s Third Law taught us. It is important to set your Management team’s expectations properly and ensure they don’t expect change without pain. Pay particular attention to 5 stakeholders –
Change Management Gospel # 2: Define SMART goals for the project
SMART goals mean goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Given the initial pushback Change Managers receive, it is easy to get de-motivated. Defining SMART goals will enable you to monitor implementation and identify if your change is on track.
Confused? Here is an example of a fallacy many companies make. Travel digitization often has ‘improve user experience’ as its # 1 goal. Such a goal is a trap since you will never make every user happy. Would 10% of dissatisfied users qualify as ‘not an improvement’?
Here is a suggestion on how this goal can be made SMART:
Change Management Gospel # 3: Generate Excitement and Nurture Change Champions
Create buzz across the company
Blitz your employees with interesting creatives that announce the launch. An effective recommendation is starting informational mailers ~1 month in advance in the 1-1-2-2 format (1 email per week for the first two weeks, and 2 emails for the final two weeks).
To engage future platform users, create an exciting communication plan. Build anticipation with countdowns to go live, highlight favorite OBT features, and share testimonials from internal champions. Use energetic slogans to generate enthusiasm.
Utilize various communication channels like Slack, Teams, and monthly email newsletters to reach everyone effectively. Remember, when it comes to significant change, it’s better to overcommunicate to ensure everyone is informed and excited.
Standees and launch helpdesk
Change management is always a herculean process. It is important to have a proactive approach to address any issues that might come up for employees. A good start is to set up checkpoints to quickly solve any queries they have and ensure they are provided with clear internal documents with FAQs to guide them. Tutorial videos make things even easier to understand.
Identify early adopters and use them to create a positive buzz
Rewards never go in vain. Start a weekly analysis of early adopters of the platform and acknowledge or reward them for their enthusiasm. This will motivate others in the organization to start accepting the new platform and not shy away from new things that they may find challenging.
The future of business travel in India is brimming with promise, thanks to the adoption of self-booking tools and streamlined processes. Effectively managing this transformative change requires awareness, effective communication, and an understanding of the company’s unique culture. With new-age managers leading the way, businesses can look forward to a more efficient and cost-effective travel system that benefits both the company and its employees. Embracing change is no longer an option but a necessity for staying ahead in this rapidly evolving business landscape.
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