A combination of change management and change communication
“I must admit that I was a bit hesitant to work with delaware’s team for change management. I thought their approach would focus too much on guiding employees through a technological change or digital transformation project, in other words - change that is linked to a new SAP or Microsoft product”, says Cristina Orodel, who used to be Change Manager at De Watergroep for the Leakie program. “I couldn’t have been more wrong. The unique combination of experienced people, a thorough and holistic change approach, and a raft of expertise in change and communication projects truly makes the difference in our Leakie program. The team is able to steer us through strategic changes happening on a people, process and organizational level.”
To fully grasp the context - what Leakie was all about and the impact it was going to have on whom - delaware’s team started with a thorough benefit mapping exercise and stakeholder analysis workshops. In parallel, the change and communication team did a round of interviews with employees and impacted leadership throughout the organization. After that, a change and communication plan brought together all actions. Based on that plan, a wide array of various assets are prepared – in close collaboration with De Watergroep’s inhouse communication team – and distributed to all involved. In other words, delaware’s team is not only involved on a strategic level, they also follow-up on the execution of the plan. To do this, they work closely together with several teams at De Watergroep, from track leaders and the HR department to the communication team.
“For this project, it is also important to reach our technicians and get them on board”, says Jos Vrijders, Manager and track lead for the ‘Faster leak repairing’ track. “Technicians and managers, they speak a different language and you need to reach them through different channels. Together with the delaware team, we try to make everyone understand what is expected of them – and why data, and sharing best practices, is crucial in helping us spot and fix leaks faster. It takes time, but we are making progress.”
Filip Vancoillie, program coordinator, explains: “If we say that every drop of water counts, there is no time to lose. That’s why I’m happy that we can rely on the team’s strategic advice and creative thinking for change management and communication aspects of Leakie. Their experience complements the activities that the track leads need to tackle. It helps all of us to focus on the job at hand, and making the difference in tackling NRW.
The team also assists us with the execution of the plan – and helps us to create a broad range of change and communication assets, including a SharePoint hub where we can easily distribute all information related to the project. One of the other ideas they came up with, was to organize Q&A sessions for our colleagues. We noticed that this worked very well! We’re not afraid to experiment with formats and also capture the feedback of everyone who is impacted by the Leakie program. We have also enrolled managers and team leads for a change management training. With most of us working from home during this COVID-era, it’s not an easy task to cover these aspects remotely. But I must say that we adapted our methodologies very well to the new situation. Our focus is to give everyone the information and tools they need reduce water losses.”
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