Knowledge and Ability Make Change Happen

We’ve discussed the importance of awareness and building desire in the change management process in previous posts. Now it’s time to equip your employees with the knowledge and ability they need to make change happen.

From a change management perspective based on the ADKAR model, there are two types of knowledge an employee needs in order to be part of a successful change. The first is knowing what to do during the transition. The second involves being equipped with the knowledge to perform effectively when the change is made. It is important in developing a training plan to contemplate both.

In order for you to build the knowledge your staff needs to implement the change make sure your plan includes:

  • training and education
  • easy access to information
  • self-study/reading
  • coaching and mentoring
  • external consultants
  • peer networking

For example, if you’re looking to change your agency management system, you should incorporate formal training programs from the vendor, one-on-one coaching, user groups and forums and troubleshooting so that employees will feel at ease with the new system. Also, the change management team should cover the training time needed so that conflicting demands are addressed and employees carve out the hours necessary to gain the knowledge they need to move forward.

Along with knowledge, having the ability to make the change is critical. The right training, tools, and techniques may be provided but there may be a gap between obtaining this knowledge and having the ability to perform. Be sure to anticipate additional training or coaching to close any learning gaps. Fostering ability involves direct involvement of the coaches, access to subject matter experts, performance monitoring, hands-on practice during training, availability of expert resources to help employees, including colleagues who have made the change successfully.