Change Management can Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Learning Program

Change Management can Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Learning Program

 

The primary goal of a learning program is to support an organization’s strategic goals by improving individual performance and contribution. In our current knowledge-based economy, agile organizations need a learning organization that is able to synthesize these goals and deliver training for improved business performance. The St. Charles Change management methodology, which we refer to as Business Readiness, will give you the tools necessary to build an effective learning program that provides employees with the training necessary to achieve your organization’s strategy or performance goals.

Change management is a systematic approach to support transitions in an organization’s goals, processes, or technologies. The goal of change management is to implement strategies that help employees and other stakeholders understand and adopt an organization’s changing strategic goals, reduce the impact of change-related incidents upon service quality, and consequently improve the day-to-day operations of the organization.

Increasing impact of learning investment

To be effective, learning programs must map back to strategy.

  • First aspect of the change management effort should be to connect the dots between corporate strategy, the learning programs, and their expected benefits.
  • Develop SMART goals to track benefits

Learning programs must convince employees that it will help improve their organization and their own performance. However, most learning programs make the assumption that these goals are obvious to employees.

  • Involve the business units and front-line employees in assessing existing shortcomings and how these new skills will remediate them.
  • Rather than make the training a top-down mandated exercise, involve the employees in making the connection to their own developmental goals.

What happens after a learning program is just as important as the program itself. Research indicates that 90% of new skills are lost within a year if not reinforced by use. Guide development of meaningful follow-up programs.

  • Enlist leaders to reiterate, review, and implement the newly learned skills
  • Involve employees in documenting and demonstrating how they are using their new skills
  • Develop community spaces where employees can share learning

An essential aspect of change management is transparency

  • Share the metrics of your learning program
  • Highlight employee contributions and celebrate successes

A suggested change management plan

A good change management plan enlists the support of sponsors and key stakeholders to lay the foundations of great communication. It seeks to understand the key needs and provides a clear understanding of the objectives.

Prepare
  1. Identify sponsors and major stakeholders
  2. Develop sponsorship model
  3. Analyze training needs with support from business units
  4. Establish goals and expected benefits
Plan
  1. Develop communications and communication plans
  2. Establish KPIs to measure effectiveness
  3. Identify sponsor activities and sponsor roadmaps
  4. Coach leaders and managers
  5. Identify target groups (beneficiaries)
Execute
  1. Build awareness (sponsor / coach activities, goals, expected benefits)
  2. Roll out training
  3. Track progress
Maintain
  1. Ensure post-learning practice opportunities
  2. Manage resistance
  3. Collect data and feedback
  4. Develop corrective actions
  5. Celebrate and recognize success

Momentum Builds Success

According to the Training magazine’s Training Industry Report, the total 2017 U.S. training expenditures rose significantly, increasing 32.5 percent to $90.6 billion.  How many of the programs associated with this massive amount of spend had the desired business impact?  How many of them had a comprehensive change management strategy that accompanied the launch?  How many programs were able to demonstrate business impact or that they moved the needle regarding performance?  I will let you ponder the answers to these questions.  Just know an effective change management approach can ensure that we establish a continuous loop of improvement while demonstrating positive impact on bottom line.

 

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