Change management: Why your personal development plan should focus on this important business skill
The world we live in today is in a constant state of change. So much so that much of the technology powering the products and services we rely on today will likely be obsolete in only a few years’ time. Although change leads to innovation, when today’s consistent shifting bleeds into the workplace, it can cause some stress and discomfort for an organisation’s employees. While technology faces change by adapting and upgrading, for today’s workers, the key to staying afloat in the ever-changing modern workplace is to take the same approach by improving and developing the soft skills associated with managing change. This means that it is paramount that L&D professionals include these important skills in the personal development plans of their employees and managers.
What is change management?
Change management describes a complex and multi-dimensional set of necessary behaviours and processes to help an organisation as well as its individual employees to move from “where they are now” to “where they want to be”.
Make organisational change as smooth and positive as can be by including these important change management skills as part of every personal development plan.
Resilience and adaptability
As Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
Resilient employees are not only able to manage change but can also adapt and adjust to a rapidly changing working environment without compromising their performance. Resilient workers tend to find success in both short-term and long-term tasks and projects by using their adaptability skills to manage change along the way.
Learn more about this essential soft skill with our eBook Resilience in the Workplace.
Coaching and emotional intelligence
Much of the responsibility of managing change can fall on the shoulders of those who lead teams. Helping an organisation cope with change by managing uncertainty requires a strong understanding of how to sensitively coach team members as well as the emotional intelligence to know how to spot crises caused by change. Understanding the various ways individuals react to change as well as their own reactions will allow managers to coach employees through transitions.
Vision and goal setting
The main difference between a successful change management strategy and one that is less so is that those in charge of learning within a company are able to anticipate and adapt while staying focused on the organisation’s goals. Developing the soft skills associated with goal-setting such as organisation and planning will help employees to define a clear mission statement as well as create a vision of ongoing and long-term goals.
Developing a vision for what change will look like for an organisation is important but communicating both the vision and the benefits of the changes to come in a way that demonstrates how it will impact both the organisation and the individuals within it is crucial. This communication will not only make the transition easier but will also make it more likely that employees will be on board with the new changes.
An important aspect of managing change is developing the ability to assess what works within an organisation, what does not, and what improvements or solutions should be implemented to make those positive changes. Creative problem-solving skills will also help to manage ongoing change as well as increasing the likelihood of solutions to aid with resistance to change.
Change is inevitable but how an organisation manages that change heavily relies on management and employees being well-versed in the skills associated with successful change management. In order to manage the inevitable transitions that will continue to alter the way modern organisations function, it will be increasingly important that, when building personal development plans, those in charge of learning and development within an organisation put focus on change management and the skills associated with it.