Hardly anyone automatically “knows” how to successfully downsize, upsize, rightsize, or restructure a company without a little help. That’s why you should look into change management training if you are planning any of these things.
Good change management training will involve a consultant who’s familiar with managing business changes of the sort you are planning.
He or she will have worked with multiple companies going through change transitions and will know what snags in the path to look for as your company goes through its transformation.
A good consultant will also be able to tell you things your regular employees can’t tell you, such as key people you need to move to other positions or eliminate, or ways you can save money that no one else has seen.
As an outside consultant, your change management training professional’s focus is on helping you make a successful transition, not in maintaining the status quo.
Implementing great change management training
Change management training should be a company-wide event, not just restricted to upper management.
That doesn’t mean the same change management training will go to your senior vice president and the mail room manager; it simply means that you should remember that all departments are undergoing change, and if your lower and middle management understand what they’re supposed to do, how things are changing, and what the benefits to them are, they will act as advocates among your other staff, helping them understand why things need to be done the new way.
Even if you are downsizing your company, employees who are more informed are better motivated than employees who are depending on rumor, innuendo, and the ubiquitous company grapevine.
Change management training for your highest level executives should happen first. They will not only be implementing your changes but will be crucial in arranging the changes, to begin with.
Your highest tier needs to understand how changes will affect them, how they will affect the company, and what they need to do to ensure successful management of your company’s transformation.
Then change management training should move top-down. Middle management should be informed, by either their superiors or by your consultant (whichever seems more appropriate), about how their roles and their employees’ roles are going to change.
In addition, it is crucial that you begin good upward communication during your change management training. When something’s going wrong, the people who are closest to the problem are the first ones to see it.
Your middle management needs to know who to come to when things aren’t working the way they should. This will save you lots of work later in the process of your company’s change.
How should change management training work?
Change management training should be tailored to each company. A bank does things differently from a new age IT company.
Open communication makes your changes work better, but if it’s not practical for your company (for instance, if you’re planning on offshoring half your factory work, telling your factory workers that half of them will be gone next year is certain to undermine morale), then you need to tailor change management training around that.
Your consultant should not take information for your company’s change out of a box; he or she should become familiar with your company as it is today, then with how it’s going to be tomorrow, and tailor change management training to you.
In the end, it’s just your company against the rest of the world. Do what’s best for your company.
Plan thoroughly and efficiently before implementing any changes, and ensure that your change management training is the best it possibly can be.