Is Change Management Training Really Important?

Is Change Management Training Really Important?
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Change is happening wherever you look, in both business and personal contexts.

Though we can coordinate what’s to come, the future is difficult to predict, but what we can say with certainty is that change is inevitable.

Climate change, political change, and changes to business landscapes are among the most influential considerations.

We are creatures of habit who don’t always react well to change, but we must liberate from the shackles of fear to grow with the times.

Change management can help us achieve this purpose, specifically employing a team to address critical processes. If managed well, change can be progressive and beneficial, increasing the potential for a secure future.

Change management encourages flexible adoption of job flows, processes, job roles, and behaviors. This helps our initiatives reach desired outcomes.

Change can be implemented as a continuous improvement cycle.

This requires training to reach common goals, but change management training is yet to receive the credit it deserves. Is it really worth it? New qualifications are sometimes dismissed, but then again most changes are until they become the norm!

This train of thought leads us to raise an important question, is change management training really important? Read on to learn more about how training can be leveraged for positive organizational effect.

It Helps You To Thrive in an Ever-Evolving Business World

There was a time when industries changed every 36 months.

Doesn’t that feel like a long time ago? In the digital age we live in, things are constantly evolving, requiring us to quickly adapt or risk getting left behind.

Organizations must adjust to fast, cross-functional change, which is why change management is so important. Without proper training, those at the helm of change projects can be left feeling overwhelmed.

To achieve your strategic vision, staff must be well-equipped to thrive in a changing landscape.

With a proper execution of change management, organizations can deliver results, and most importantly build competencies to tackle diverse changes.

Close the Gap Between Requirements and Results

When planning the organizational changes you’ll implement, a common approach is to set milestones and anticipate results which align with your company’s mission statement.

This is achievable when change management leaders have received formal training, but often changes meet requirements without delivering projected results. Meeting objectives is one thing, but delivering on expected outcomes is your ultimate goal.

Training narrows the gap between requirements and results, and prevents you focusing on dysfunctional budgets which don’t add value. Achieving solutions is easy, but obtaining benefits from those solutions is in the hands of the people responsible for change.

Change management closes the gap, so it’s important to be equipped with the skills necessary to positively influence benefit-driven results.

Reduce The Chance Factor

Change leaves something to chance, but a key initiative with change management is reducing what you leave to chance. Training introduces control measures to reduce the variability of change, providing direction on deliverables, activities, and sequencing milestones.

When staff are proactively guided through change, this increases the likelihood they’ll embrace it. This is a critical success factor, because a reluctant workforce can drastically inhibit organizational growth.

A trained employee who’s well prepared for change will have the support and skills necessary to adapt. If they’re less knowledgeable on change management, you’re left with a hope and a prayer that change works.

Well trained staff will understand the importance of change, and how it will bring long term benefits.

Positive Change

When change is anticipated, it is more likely to be considered a positive initiative, where change is self-motivated with enthusiasm, determination, and a greater sense of cooperation.

Though external changes can feel negative, the goal of change management training is to alter the perception of internal changes, which should feel positive. This can be viewed from a psychological perspective, where changing attitudes and behaviors has a profound impact.

Change Management: A Five-Part Process

Change management training can be based on a five-part process, and considered as a cycle of events.

This philosophy prioritizes change as a learning curve, where actions are implemented gradually, repeated, and modified over time.

Patience is critical, and a continuous improvement philosophy will help staff embrace change as a work in progress.

The five-part process should be taught as follows:

  1. Purpose – What do you want to achieve?
  2. Plan – How will you achieve it?
  3. Action – How will you execute your plan?
  4. Feedback – Have you met your goals?
  5. Change – Have your changes been beneficial?

Once you’ve obtained feedback, you can assess the success of your actions relative to your initial objectives. If you haven’t met your intended goals, you can cycle back to the purpose stage and start again.

Reaping the benefits of change can take time, so be patient. Give your organization time to embrace the changes implemented. When you’re ready, you can use performance metrics to assess whether your changes have been successful.

If successful, continue to embrace your change philosophy, but maintain a willing readiness to adapt. If there are undesired consequences, you can reenter the five step cycle with new objectives, remembering patience is a virtue.

A patient short-term approach will generate positive long-term changes, which are important for influencing enterprise level improvements.

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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