Training, Communication, and Change Champions
Change is inevitable, complex, and affects all levels of an organization.
At the individual level, changes can occur when employees learn new skills or develop new ways of working through mentoring, coaching, education, or training. At a group level, changes can occur as teams develop new ways of working with one another, define their goals and objectives, and learn new ways to address conflict. Change can also occur at the organizational level through the development of new strategies, processes, and visions for a new desired future.
These complexities of change create a need for dynamic, flexible guidelines that navigate organizations to respond to change. Here at Elire, we’ve separated our Change Management approach into six phases to prepare and support people through changes.
These phases have a common goal: to foster a smooth change process using proper training, positive communication, and Change Champions.
Plan and Discover
The main goal of the Plan and Discover phase is to gather information that will act as the groundwork for design and construction. This phase typically begins with a listening tour, which can be an effective way to gather information about employee communication and training preferences. During these tours, existing training materials are gathered and evaluated to uncover what techniques may or may not be working for the team. This is also an opportunity to build excitement about the project with key stakeholders and discover potential change champions.
The next step of the Plan and Discover phase is the development of a change impact analysis. This assessment compiles information gathered during current state and fit gap sessions and assigns each business process a change impact score. This score is used to plan training and communication techniques and can help mold the work in the design and develop stages.
Using the results from the change impact assessment, organizations can begin to develop the change management strategy that includes the training and communication approaches and electing change champions.
Choosing the most effective type of training depends on Employee’s 5 Moments of Need. Referring to the 5 Moments of Need can help leaders understand what training techniques would be most effective in that situation. Read our recent blog post on the 5 Moments of Need for more detail.
After training has been addressed, teams must shift their attention to communication and what types of communication will work best. When evaluating communication strategies that will be included in your change management strategy, it is important to understand that employees are most responsive to change when they are kept well informed. Clear communication is essential, and employees should be aware of the change from initial planning to final implementation.
When notifying employees of change, a communication matrix can be helpful to ensure that every aspect of the change is addressed. Elire’s communication matrix lists the communication required, the audience it will target, how and when the message will be sent, and any additional comments to ensure transparency.
Once teams have established training techniques and transparent communication, they can begin using Elire’s concept of Change Champions to further promote positive organizational change. Change Champions are influential stakeholders within the organization who act as guides during upgrades and implementations. A Change Champion has experience with the process or technology change and understands how the changes benefit end-users. The use of Change Champions can help ease the transition of a project by using their knowledge to embrace change and guide others when issues arise.
After the Plan and Discover phase, the Change Management team can move onto the Design phase of the project. The objective of this phase is to design a training curriculum, finalize the communication matrix and templates, and ultimately ensure that there is a solid base for future actions. This is a time to design training prototypes and environments, training data, and begin formulating quick start guides or help desk materials for training.
Another important aspect of the Design phase is its ability to build excitement and engagement by addressing potential quick wins. By doing this in the design phase, teams can bring low cost, high reward changes to the forefront of the end-user’s minds, promoting positivity about the changes at hand.
The Develop/Construct phase is the time to follow through with plans made in the Design phase. Training invites, quick reference guides, standard operating procedure documents, and communications detailed from the communication matrix can be sent confidently, knowing that they’ve addressed essential components during the design phase.
During this process, it is also important to break down the training strategy to cover all roles and processes, ensuring that the training is sustainable. Elire recommends breaking down training strategies to understand elements like system gaps, training requirements, and current and future state training methods. Understanding each element will allow for a training curriculum that groups inventoried topics together based on roles, processes, and training methods. This creates a streamlined process to ensure that employees are trained in the correct subject matter at the correct time and frequency.
The primary goal in this phase is to complete the training materials prior to User Acceptance Testing (UAT) so that UAT testers refer to them during testing. This will not only help the tester but will also create the opportunity to identify last-minute changes that need to be implemented in the training materials. Once the training materials are finalized from UAT, they’ll be ready to deliver.
The Deliver phase is when the built training techniques are put into action. Change Management teams deliver training and can see the manifestation of their hard work in place.
After Delivery, it is critical to assess the effectiveness of the training. This is a time to step back and evaluate the progress of the training material. Soliciting feedback on the training will be valuable for the continued growth and improvement of training material.
The last phase of Elire’s Change Management Methodology focuses on support using the “Evergreen Strategy.’ This can be compared to watering and maintaining the health of a plant that has just begun to grow. As new releases or future implementations are planned, training and communication should be evaluated to ensure projects are healthy and growing successfully. In essence, this phase ensures that the project continues to succeed after implementation.
Navigating change can seem daunting but using a step-by-step approach like Elire’s Change Management Methodology can help Change Management teams confidently respond to change.
To learn more about Elire’s expertise in Change Management, visit our Management Advisory Services page.