“People who appear to be resisting change may simply be the victim of bad habits. Habit, like gravity, never takes a day off” ― Paul Gibbons
As we continue to navigate work, life, and business – even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic – change is inevitable. These changes have the potential to affect your organisation – either positively or negatively – which is why it is important to distinguish between those changes that demand a formal management approach and those that do not. However, even under normal circumstances being able to adapt to change is a vital quality of a successful organisation. A change management model can accelerate a clearer understanding of how people react in order to plan for their support requirements. If you manage the change process well, the change can be progressive, beneficial, and secure important improvements for your business and your people.
What is change management?
Change management is not an event. It is a systematic process that drives desired behavioural outcomes which organisations can then work towards. Because change management is aimed at assisting employees to understand, accept, adapt to and adopt changes in their immediate business environment, adopting an employee-centric approach is instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition to the new working environment. Done right, change management can aid in minimising the effects of the changes that occur in your organisation.
Change management is also a formal way of communicating with employees to let them know what changes are happening, why it is happening and how it will impact and/or benefit them. Keeping employees informed using frank and transparent communication can ease the transition, render employees more open to the change and save time and resources. Employees who are open to change will arguably also be more engaged in the process of making the change happen.
Why is it important?
Organisational change can occur in many ways, from strategic changes, leadership changes to technological changes. Businesses are increasingly seeing the vital role that change management can play during the application of, for example, new technology. The latter is a good example of why change management is important: People fear that technological development will eventually take over the workplace, which causes them to be resistant to change. By helping employees better understand change, business leaders can create a workplace that is open to and supportive of change. Change management can help ease the tension of the unknown and create a smooth transition process. To facilitate this, many organisations provide change management courses or change management training to ensure their employees are guided through the change journey.
Here are 3 reasons why corporate training supports organisational change.
1 Training promotes employee engagement
Research shows that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies while “employees with lower engagement are four times more likely to leave their jobs.” This underscores the importance of engaging employees in the change management process. Equally important is to ensure that human resource managers and other business leaders (1) are properly trained to deliver the change message to their employees and (2) gather feedback from individual employees to use to influence change.
2 Training increases visibility and fosters a culture of belonging
A company’s objectives and strategies are only the tip of a large iceberg. Beliefs, perceptions, values, and shared assumptions should not be discounted. Having a sense of belonging is vital to foster engagement on the job, which in turn comes from understanding the organisational environment. Training to understand the organisational environment in which an employee functions should be conducted until these are committed to memory and entrenched in daily operations.
3 Training increases success rate
Managers set the behavioural standards in the workplace. It is therefore crucial that they are onboard with any change. Leadership training is essential to ensure they are leading their people in a positive and productive manner that increases both organisational and personal success.
Any transformation, no matter the size, needs an organisation to implement diverse types of employee training to ensure employees can understand the mission and adjust to new structures and tools. Regardless of the organisational driver for the change, a thoughtful, employee-centric approach to change management that includes a comprehensive training plan is an absolute must.