The Importance of Change Management Training (With Tips)
Updated June 24, 2022
When workplace strategies, products or systems update or change, often the entire organizational structure must respond to it. Developing a structured approach to these processes through change management training can make the transition smooth and beneficial.
The practice can also help eliminate human error and other resistances to change. In this article, we discuss what change management training is, review why it's important and give tips to help you use it at your own company.
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What is change management training?
Change management is the process a company uses to smoothly implement change within its organization. This practice uses knowledge from disciplines like psychology, engineering and behavioral science to make logical adjustments to business functions and help people cope with and adapt to differences in their environment.
Change management training teaches how to apply this process to a specific company or team through tangible actions or thought processes. You can take part in change management training in person or online, by yourself or in a group.
The role of training in change management
Comprehensive change management training engages all staff within an organization or team, as well as supervisors and leadership across the organization. It can include things like establishing the necessary steps for change, supporting employees through an organizational change and monitoring activities to ensure successful implementation.
Popular industries for change management training include finance, education and information technology. You can use change management training for any size or depth of adjustment, big or small.
Why is change management training important?
Change management training has a variety of benefits for employees and systems throughout an organization. Some ways it can positively affect a company include:
Increasing success rates
Change management training can increase success rates for an organization by setting the precedence for how people receive the change. The design of a change management course teaches people in the company how to be advocates for change. It also provides a support structure that employees can rely on while progressing through the implementation process.
When confronting change, how you feel about the transition can be just as important as the steps you take to make it happen. By holding training sessions about how to deal with change, you can shape the beliefs, values, shared assumptions and unsure perceptions about the implementation process for the entire organization. This aids transparency by helping people understand the need for changes as well as the environment and culture of the company. It helps to foster a shared commitment to learning and evolution to achieve the desired goal.
Promoting employee engagement
Change management relies on collaboration among groups, systems and processes to make the transitions smooth and logical. Using change management training can help employees feel like they have a bit of control over the transition process. Using these methods invites them to partake in the movement and decisions the company makes as a whole as it works toward change. It allows for feedback, questions and suggestions from the people affected to influence the greater process.
The types of change management
There are three basic types of change management a business may undergo, each requiring a different type of training:
Transitional changes refer to changes to a company's processes. With a transitional change, a company will update the way it operates but overall remains the same. For example, a business may choose to switch from one software to another, requiring employees to undergo training to learn a whole new system.
Transformational changes happen when a company overhauls its entire processes or reshapes its business strategies. Following a transformation change, a company's current operations will be for the most part replaced. For example, a publication that transitions from print to digital-only.
Developmental changes are changes a company makes to improve its business procedures or operations. For example, an update to a business's payroll schedule may lead to an adjustment for employees but likely will not require the type of training that a transitional change would.
Tips for change management training
Use these tips to implement or take part in change management training with your organization:
Stress the importance of change
Resistance to change is any factor that inhibits the implementation process, including workers or systems. Understanding why change is necessary or important can help people become more receptive to the process itself. Stressing the importance of change to team members can eliminate some of the resistance factors and make for a smoother transition.
Understand the vision
Most organizations make changes because leadership members have a different vision for the future or success for the company than can come from the current projected path. Learning how to share this vision and interpret it in the context of change and development can help people understand what they're working toward. This may help them move more smoothly through the change management process.
Consider the persuasion
Change can be most successful when it has support from people at all management levels. Consider what factors can help people accept or "buy into" the proposed change. You can use this information to shape training modules and other persuasive materials. Link change to your mission statement to show how the proposed improvements positively affect the entire company.
Share as much information during change management training as you find appropriate. The level of necessary information can depend on the type of change, the current situation and the organization's individual needs. Find a balance between being transparent and concise, which can prevent employees from being overwhelmed with too much information. Also, share only what you know rather than speculating about potential situations. Provide updates and more information as they become available.
Just as changes and processes adapt over time, so can change management training. If you find one method isn't working as you planned, or it contradicts a new piece of information about your change, alter the modules to better reflect the current path. This can help you provide the best quality training and most accurate practices for your team.
Provide refresher training
Even after the initial rounds of change management training, you can offer refresher seminars during and after the transition process. These additional courses can ensure that the leadership is guiding teams through the change process positively and productively. It also provides the opportunity to give updates or amendments to previous modules.
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