Training and resistance management plans go hand in hand.
An effective training program can help change management professionals do a few things:
- Cut training costs
- Reduce learning curves
- Streamline onboarding
- And, most importantly, manage resistance
In short – the better your training, the smoother your onboarding.
Let’s look at how you can “grease the funnel” of your change project … so you can reduce resistance and achieve better results.
How Training and Resistance Management Plans Work Together
To get tangible results, we should first understand what the obstacle we’re trying to overcome…
Step 1: Understand Resistance
Resistance to change can come in many forms – it can be passive, active, aggressive, or tacit.
It can also come from many places – employees, managers, customers, users, or business leaders.
Imagine you are adopting new software for your business.
Chances are, the users of that software will be the ones to resist.
Common causes of that resistance could include:
- Information Overload – Not everyone wants to learn new things. And even if they do, chances are they are already overwhelmed by a complex toolbox of workplace technologies.
- FUD – Fear, uncertainty, and doubt is well-known as a marketing strategy … however, it can impact everyone when they face the unknown. Fear of the unknown is a major cause of resistance.
- Busy Schedules – Another common cause of resistance is the fact that people are just too busy. Adding more work to their schedules can create resistance and resentment.
These three causes of resistance can be mitigated.
Or, if you use the right training, they can be almost completely avoided.
Step 2: Learn How Digital Training Can Cut Costs and Skyrocket Productivity
Digital training, e-learning, and online education are the future.
In recent years, we have seen major explosions in digital education solutions.
Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends report, for instance, demonstrated this in great detail:
- Universities are implementing more online courses every year
- Students are also taking online courses in increasing numbers
- Private online schools, such as Coursera and Udemy, are growing exponentially
Given the growing need for digital skills, enterprises are also realizing the benefits of digital education.
In a business context, organizations are implementing a range of digital training solutions, such as:
- Digital Adoption Platforms – Digital adoption platforms (DAPs), also called digital adoption solutions (DASs) by Gartner, offer in-app training. They provide contextualized, on-demand micro-learning. This reduces training time, cuts costs, and improves employee productivity.
- Learning Management Systems – These systems are designed to help companies develop their own educational content. This content can be in a variety of formats, such as video, text, audio, and so forth. As with content management systems, learning content can be organized, tagged, and customized as needed.
- Third-Party Training Solutions – Outside vendors can also offer up-to-date workplace training. Providers can include educational companies such as Udemy or consultancies such as Prosci. With today’s array of digital technology, many of these providers offer virtual, online training.
These are a few of the best options.
An effective training plan can tackle all of the problems mentioned above.
- Information Overload – The right training solution is hyper-focused, only delivering the most relevant, useful information. A DAP, for example, delivers micro-lessons at exactly the right time, containing immediately relevant information.
- FUD – In times of change, fear can be caused by lack of knowledge. But targeted training can diffuse that fear at the outset, by providing know-how and skills. These skills, in turn, boost confidence and disperse fear.
- Busy Schedules – With the right digital training solution, you can trim training time to a minimum. This cuts down on added workloads, keeping training time to a minimum.
The points laid out here should demonstrate the clear benefits of digital training.
But how do you execute a digital training plan and reduce resistance?
Step 3: Executing Your Digital Training Plan
A digital training plan will certainly accomplish some of the goals mentioned above.
However, if your aim is managing resistance, then set that as your goal right from the start.
Here are a few tips:
- Identify potential causes of resistance early on (see above)
- Those causes should point to the most appropriate training solutions
- Develop a training action plan, replete with metrics and KPIs, to nip resistance in the bud
- Find training exercises that make change fun and engaging
- To add more value to employees – and further reduce resistance – personalize training plans
- Consider supplementing your digital education with real-world skills development, such as coaching, mentoring, and career development tracks
- Find and sell the value of change to your target audience – this will help transform resistance into enthusiasm
Ultimately, everyone is self-interested, whether they are customers, app users, or employees.
During onboarding and training, make sure to emphasize the personal benefits of your change program.
This will turn attention away from the negative factors that can cause resistance.
Find ways to keep those positive, personal benefits in the forefront of their minds.
Do so, and trainees will be more eager to engage with your training program … helping you manage and overcome resistance to change.
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.