Why you need employee and executive change management training programs
In the modern market, change isn’t just constant—it’s necessary for growth and survival. From adopting new technologies to responding to shifting industry demands, companies today find themselves in an endless cycle of transitions.
At the heart of these transitions lies an integral function: change management.
Change management training for leaders is pivotal in managing and implementing such transitions.
Often termed “executive change management,” it involves strategic planning and thoughtful implementation of changes, fostering a resilient, dynamic, and effective workplace that seamlessly adapts to transformations.
However, the need for change management is often underestimated or overlooked – studies show that a mere 34% of change strategies succeed post-implementation.
This highlights the pressing need for businesses to leverage the power of a well-structured change management plan and its pivotal role in determining their future success.
In this article, we’ll delve into the importance of change management and training, its impact on all levels of an organization, and the reasons why businesses should invest in change management training for executives. We’ll also explore how companies can provide change management training for employees to help them adapt to change, thrive, and succeed.
What is change management training?
Change is inevitable, but growth is optional. In 2002, the average Fortune 500 company did a reorg every seven years. Today? Reorganizations happen every seven months.
Without proper planning, change can create chaos. This is where change management training for employees and executives comes into play. Everyone should be involved in the change process because each role uniquely plays a part in ensuring your organization continues to function effectively.
Companies can provide training on change management through workshops, seminars, online courses, or even on-the-job training. These trainings typically cover topics like:
- Identifying and managing resistance to change
- Managing communication during change
- Understanding the impact of technology on organizational change
- Understanding the emotional response to change
- Establishing trust among stakeholders
- Developing a roadmap for implementing a successful change process
A robust change management training program gives your people the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to navigate change across a variety of business contexts and roles.
Here are some rules to consider as you take steps toward change:
Rule 1. Focus first on the longer-term strategic aspirations—dwelling only on pain points typically creates new ones.
Rule 2. Take time to develop an accurate, verifiable picture of today’s structures, processes, and people.
Rule 3. Select the right change blueprint carefully by creating multiple options, challenging biases, and minimizing the influence of political agendas.
Rule 4. Go beyond the lines and boxes and consider all three elements of organizational design: structure, process, and people.
Rule 5. Fill well-defined roles in an orderly, transparent way, and don’t just focus on people who can fill roles.
Rule 6. Identify and actively change the necessary mindsets. Do not assume that people will automatically fall in line.
Rule 7. Establish simple, clear Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to measure short- and long-term success.
Rule 8. Make sure business leaders communicate and create a powerful redesign narrative to inspire and mobilize the company.
Rule 9. Monitor and mitigate transitional risks, such as interruptions to business continuity, loss of talent, and customer-care lapses.
How many total rules have you followed?
How change management training for executives helps streamline the process
Despite change being a constant in business, successfully navigating through it is a delicate process. This is particularly true at the executive level, where decisions can have far-reaching impacts. Here’s how investing in executive change management training can help:
Lead by example
Executives play a crucial role in stabilizing changing organizations. When they undergo change management training, they become role models for the rest of the workforce. Their commitment and understanding of change management principles will trickle down to all levels of the organization, showing employees that change is an opportunity rather than a threat.
Communicate the purpose of change
Resistance to change is a common obstacle faced by organizations. Change management training equips executives with the soft skills to effectively communicate the reason for the change, the benefits change will bring to the organization as a whole, and address concerns. When executives understand the human side of change, they can better engage employees in the change process.
Improve decision-making during transitions
During times of transition, decision-making can be challenging. Executives need to consider multiple factors and potential outcomes. With proper change management training, executives can assess potential risks, anticipate resistance, and develop appropriate strategies to mitigate the negative consequences of change. This allows executives to make more informed decisions, minimizing risks while maximizing benefits.
Align change with strategic goals
Change initiatives should be aligned with the organization's business objectives to achieve long-term success. Executives with change management training can better assess how a proposed change aligns with the overall vision and mission of the company. This alignment ensures that resources are allocated appropriately and that change efforts move the organization in the desired direction.
Boost competitiveness and agility
Executive change management training enables leaders to spot trends, foresee potential shifts, and prepare their teams accordingly. Organizations can maintain a competitive edge by equipping executives with the skills to stay agile, ensuring they're ready to pivot as necessary. This proactive approach to change leads to improved performance, increased productivity, and a stronger market position.
How middle management leadership can aid in organizational change initiatives
Middle managers can bridge the gap between a company’s executives and employees, acting as a change champion. Here are a few ways they do this.
Manage resistance to change
Not only can they reinforce the purpose and importance of change, but middle managers are able to work with employees at the individual level to manage resistance to change. Change can be hard to accept, so expect employees to feel anxious due to the uncertainty of what the change will mean for them. Middle managers can offer support, reassurance, and motivation at a more personal level than executives.
Facilitate training programs
Middle managers often facilitate change management training for employees, supporting and coaching them throughout their learning journey. This includes refresher training, which helps employees navigate change effectively over the long term. Ongoing training will promote a culture of openness and continuous improvement that propels your business forward in an ever-changing landscape.
Create a feedback loop
Middle managers provide valuable feedback to upper management on the progress of the change implementation. They can share insights about the team's acceptance of the change, any challenges that came up, and suggestions for improvements. This feedback loop aids in making necessary adjustments to the change management strategy, ensuring it's as effective as possible.
Prepare your team for change with a change management training program
Change is inevitable. It’s a natural part of the business cycle. And with the right training and preparation, leaders can effectively manage change and help their teams weather any storms that may come their way.
With training, change management becomes easier to implement. It helps executives confidently steer your organization through change, transforming potential disruptions into opportunities for progress and innovation.
At Unboxed Training & Technology, we can help you develop a change management strategy that serves as a blueprint for navigating change, enabling your organization to transition smoothly while minimizing disruption. Our modern take on change management training uses engaging, custom-made content to help you spread your message and gain employee buy-in.
Request a demo of our change management solutions to help your organization train your employees now and enjoy a smoother transition later.