After the incredible amount of transformation we have seen in the first half of 2020, you would think we would all be pros at navigating change by now. And yet, transitions can still be challenging – even those individuals in the third-third of Flexibility!

There are a number of obstacles that can impact our adaptability including individual challenges, such as an employee who does not understand the reasoning behind a transition as well as systematic issues, like not having an organized process to guide transformation.

As companies continue to adjust their business practices to position themselves for success in the future, employees, managers and leaders will need to get comfortable with constant adaptation. One way to help your employees navigate ongoing changes in your work environment is to invest in their professional development.

Five Ways Learning & Development Can Support Change Management

Whether you are a manager seeking to support your team or a Learning & Development professional evaluating growth opportunities for your entire staff, consider the following five areas of focus to enhance your employees’ adaptability:

1. Promote Change Models

Starting with the most intuitive option, you can certainly make an impact on your staff by training them on specific change models such as Kotter’s 8-Step Process or the Prosci ADKAR® Model.

Transformations can often be slowed or stopped when your organization does not have an effective methodology to drive them forward. When leaders and managers can successfully use change models, you start to see progress and results. When your entire staff understands your organization’s approach to change management, they can better identify their role in the process, which helps to drive evolutions forward.

2. Improve Communication

To successfully enact change, you need to communicate effectively. If questions go unanswered or team members feel that they are missing pieces of the puzzle, they are more likely to resist the transformation process.

At Emergenetics®, we know that communication is far more effective when you consider each of our seven Attributes as you craft a message. We recommend you start with why or the reasoning behind a transition. Next, focus on the how (or the details) and who is involved and impacted. Make sure to conclude with what if to tie the change to positive, future possibilities. In addition to the message itself, I invite you to consider how you communicate by:

  • Sharing information in a multitude of ways and platforms
  • Building consensus and inviting discussion
  • Identifying milestones and plans to communicate further updates if necessary

3. Encourage Self-awareness

When staff struggle to adapt, they may not fully understand where their own resistance is coming from. In these instances, it can be helpful to invest in programs that support your employees’ self-awareness.

As individuals understand themselves including their preferred ways of thinking and behaving as well as their emotional intelligence, they can begin to recognize what may be driving their reaction to change. They can use that knowledge to advocate and identify ways to motivate themselves through transformations by leaning into their strengths. Consider what training programs you can provide to help foster greater self-understanding.

4. Support Collaborative Teamwork

For many employees, particularly those with a Social preference, it’s easier to manage transitions when they have a supportive team around them. Investing in team building programs can help your staff feel more engaged, more connected and better able to work together to overcome obstacles and challenges.

You can also help your team by investing in programs that support emotional intelligence through empathy and social skills. When your staff has a better sense of the inherent strengths of their colleagues and discover tools to have productive conversations, you can empower them to help one another – and themselves – through change.

5. Develop Coaches

For transformation to take effect, your team members need encouragement to stay the course even in the face of obstacles. Empowering your staff to effectively coach their direct reports or peers can help your employees motivate one another and persevere even when change is difficult.

Consider what programs you can offer to help managers and employees become better coaches. I invite you to reflect on what workshops or training materials you can provide that can help staff build perspective, deliver feedback, ask guiding questions and provide meaningful recognition. When your leaders, managers and employees can effectively coach one another, you will find that their performance and ability to enact change increase.

While disruption can be tough, we all can get better at accelerating positive transformations in our teams and organizations. By investing in your staff’s professional development, you can take valuable steps to give them the tools they need to hone their practices while helping your company grow and evolve to drive success.

If you’re interested in supporting the ongoing state of change in your company, Emergenetics can help. Our programming can enhance self-awareness, collaboration, communication and coaching. Learn more by filling out the form below to speak with our team.

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