In 2018, Continental decided to launch the project MO 365, Your New Work Style. With this change project, the German tire manufacturer wanted to help their employees get acquainted with Office 365. “When we were looking for an alternative way to introduce new IT tools, we decided to work with Xylos. Thanks to their interactive workshops, the presence of their Digital Coach, and their online video platform OASE, our employees are successfully embracing the new way of working”, says Wend De Pelsmaeker, HR Manager at Continental Benelux.
Migrating to Office 365 doesn’t happen overnight, and Continental Benelux is fully aware of this. “Office 365 is crucial to our staff’s work environment. It’s so ingrained in their daily work routine that one technical class course won’t suffice for our end users. If they don’t learn how to get the most out of basic tools such as Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive, their productivity will decrease”, Wend says. To prevent this, Continental launched MO 365 - Your New Work Style, a change project for which HR and IT worked together to look beyond the migration’s technical aspects.
The change to Office 365 started with a set of workshops to determine the project’s scope. Who do the project leaders communicate with, and when? Which colleagues should attend which trainings? After the development plan was set up, the company organised its first inspiration sessions to answer employees’ questions, such as: What is O365? Which road are we taking with Office 365? What will change? What should we expect? “These sessions were very beneficial for us because many people weren’t familiar with the cloud yet. The Xylos consultant managed to explain the IT concept clearly without slides, using just pen and paper”, Gert-Jan says.
Gert-Jan and Wend conducted a survey to gauge the results of the workshops, asking staff members what they thought about the sessions and if they still had trouble using any tools. To answer all remaining questions and get all obstacles out of the way, Xylos provided a Digital Coach. During his fixed contact sessions and trainings in the customer’s office, everyone was able to ask him what they needed to know about Office 365. “The great thing about our Digital Coach is that Koen really became part of the team. Everyone knew him and he knew everyone. He knew what every employee was doing and anticipated their needs”, Gert-Jan continues.
Apart from the Digital Coach, Continental’s employees also had access to Xylos’ online video and learning platform OASE. Due to the company’s size, it’s not often possible to have everyone attend a class course at the same time. OASE’s microlearning formula offers employees an ideal learning alternative: by watching the short instructional videos, they can learn new skills anywhere and anytime. “We still have one considerable challenge: we need to increase awareness about the platform. To achieve this, we encouraged our sales colleagues to use the platform with an OASE KPI and we published an employee testimonial to get other employees excited”, Gert-Jan says.
Continental has learned quite a few valuable things. According to Wend, the composition of the work group that took care of the change project was the key to its success. “Our IT staff couldn’t manage MO 365, Your New Work Style on their own. The entire business needs to combine their efforts to make a change project like this take off properly. In other words: it wasn’t just our IT department’s project, it was Continental’s. By having our IT, HR and Marketing departments work together, we managed to present every step clearly for our end users.”
“The technology’s maturity also contributed to the project’s success”, Wend adds. “The Office 365 tools are fully mature, so we can do anything with them. The yearly flu shot registrations now happen through Forms, which is incredibly efficient.” Still, Wend and Gert-Jan remain critical. “The project may be successful, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop asking ourselves questions. We’re examining how new employees who weren’t here when we had the Digital Coach and workshops can jump on board the Office train as quickly as possible. A change project like this needs a long-term vision, after all”, Gert-Jan says.
Luckily, Xylos can provide the help Continental needs. “We can offer our employees extra trainings, but we lack necessary knowledge about change, because change has become a field of expertise in itself. Xylos’ consultants do have the necessary expertise and they cater to our needs perfectly, so we already know that the follow-up of the project will happen smoothly”, Wend concludes.
“Everyone knew our Digital Coach and he knew everyone. He knew what every employee was doing and anticipated their needs.”