There are two things many companies seem to miss when setting out on a change journey: the educational and social aspects of change management. You cannot just expect your employees to immediately adapt to a new situation, especially if they are new to your organization.
A new system or new processes will be harder for some people to get used to and to start using in an effective way, while others might be quicker to adapt. This is why it’s so important to invest in education and trainings for your organization – otherwise, you may risk leaving some of your employees behind in the change process.
According to the Prosci ADKAR Model, you need to be aware of five crucial elements in your change journey:
- Awareness – Of the need for change
- Desire – To participate and support the change
- Knowledge – On how to change
- Ability – To implement desired skills and behaviours
- Reinforcement – To sustain the change.
Without these five elements, your digital transformation will not stick with the organization. So, how do you achieve this?
From my own experience with helping companies succeed with large IT-projects and digital transformations for nearly 20 years, I believe that education plays a key role in change management.
However, it’s not that easy to know how and where to start. This is why I've gathered 5 tips on how you can succeed with an education concept for your organization. Let's get started!
1. Consider education early on in the change process.
From the first moment you start your transformation – no matter the scope or goal – you need to figure out how to get your employees onboard.
Despite this, education and trainings for employees seems to be almost an afterthought for many companies embarking on a change journey. But the fact is that you need to make sure that the end-users will be able to use the new system or business processes swiftly, in order to avoid costly production shutdowns or other issues.
2. Set a clear strategy and a common goal for your education program.
Another mistake I have seen before, is that companies don’t set a common goal for the transformation or education program. The result from this, is that you will most likely be working in silos, without knowing what the other teams, departments or consultants are focusing on. Set a clear strategy to avoid this and to make sure that your employees feel like they are a part of the change process.
3. Stick to one education concept.
More is less in some instances, and this is one of those. To continue from the last point, you should avoid adding to many different goals, programs, and trainings. If you use several training concepts or education programs, the end-users will most likely end up confused and frustrated. So, focus on one thing at a time: one strategy, with clear goals, using a single education concept.
4. Make sure all stakeholders are involved.
Making sure that the right people are involved will also help you to avoid silos or contradicting messages. It’s easy to forget about this part, but the people in your organization are your most powerful tool. Don’t forget to involve them.
5. Appoint a project coordinator who can follow up on goals and support the process.
To succeed with all previous steps, it is good to have a project coordinator. That way, everyone knows who to turn to when questions arise, and you can make sure that the education concept is set up properly.
Another tip I would like to add here is to bring in an expert early on. Columbus has an education concept for Infor M3, but we can help you with many other systems or solutions as well. Contact us today for more information.
Kanthal is a manufacturing company that certainly has come a long way regarding education and change management. Listen in on how they train their employees in this episode of Leading Business Transformation.