Any conversation about managing change in the workplace should include learning. That's because nearly 70% of change initiatives in the workplace fail to achieve the desired outcome, according to the Center for Creative Leadership. If your organization is struggling to adapt, you might need to consider either tapping or making more effective use of training tools. Managing change aided by a strong learning program can make the difference between successful change and, well, no real change at all.
How Google Managed Change
A desire for revolution prompted Google to adopt a four-phase approach to managing change in the workplace, according to Inc. Their strategy includes a measured approach to educating employees on the purpose of the change after discovering that less than half of their workforce understood the reason for it. As a result, Google accomplished a 90% adoption rate of the intended change. Your learning management system can act as a change center by helping leaders educate employees on the "why" behind a change. An LMS can be used to communicate expert perspectives, including the voices of internal and external subject matter experts. Finally, the right LMS can steer change with reporting and automation. For example, assessment tools can automatically re-enroll employees who score below training comprehension thresholds. Email notifications can nudge employees along, reminding them to reengage with training.
Successful change management doesn't just trickle down from the top. Learning and LMS technology can drive employee engagement and create transparency for the entire workforce. An LMS can support measurement of employee adoption when managing change in the workplace. According to Prosci, metrics for understanding employee progress are:
- Participation in change management learning.
- Timeliness of completion.
- Knowledge-based test scores.
- Speed of learning execution.
Engaged employees are likely to go forth and prosper; however, make sure you don't neglect the bigger picture. It's possible for employees to engage but maintain stagnant behaviors. Use LMS data in conjunction with performance data. Perhaps most importantly, use your LMS as a channel for feedback. User-generated feedback can clarify employee mindsets and pain points, giving leaders an opportunity to address employee change concerns.
When the initiative is underway, cadence employee learning requirements so everyone has time to analyze and absorb the outcome of the new initiative. An LMS with the capacity for written employee feedback and social communities allows employees to discuss and define their roles going forward. Take advantage of the opportunity for employees to discuss how the initiative will impact their jobs, teams and departments. Provide opportunities for employees to learn in the flow of work and verify new behaviors with convenient resources. Also, it can be valuable to offer "progress reports" to clearly communicate how your team members are progressing. These give managers a pathway to employee recognition and reward as well as an objective tool to identify those struggling with change. This can help you find the root cause of any disconnect. Take steps to customize learning and overcome workforce challenges.
Learning strategies for managing change matter
Change is constant—and it isn't easy—but involving employees in defining their roles and responsibilities post-change can deepen understanding. Consider learner experience and take the time to ease everyone into acceptance and adoption.