In the book, Bare Bones Change Management: What you shouldn’t not do, Bob Lewis explained the seven must-have elements for any change management effort to have a chance of succeeding. Here are my takeaways from one of the topics discussed in the book.
When the subject is business change, a training plan qualifies as an assumption, not just an opinion or a “nice-to-have.” Everyone needs to understand their role in the change, and they need to have a common understanding of the shared expectations.
Bob offered the following recommendations for pulling together a training plan.
- Engage the professionals early
- Don’t let the training professionals sell employees short
- Show employees how to do their jobs, not how to use the tools
- Provide context, not just job-specific skills
- Do not neglect brand training
- Train just in time
- Tailor training to the level of aptitude and confidence
- Certify knowledge and skills
- Provide floorwalkers or triage centers
- Don’t assume you did it right
In addition to training people to adapt to the change or use the new tools, Bob pointed out some additional items.
One, develop a transition plan. While the training plan often describes the to-be environment, the transition plan will bridge the gap between the present as-is and the new to-be situation.
Two, have coping skill training for the managers. Train the managers to help their employees cope with the change. Not everyone will move through the stages of change at a uniform pace. The managers need to understand the dynamics within their areas and possess the skills to help their group implement the change.
Three, train the stakeholders. Rarely a change impacts only a handful of individuals. The organization needs to evaluate the pending impact on the stakeholders and to train/educate them about the change.