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How an Integrated Approach Can Improve Everyone's Satisfaction

Change, Communication and Training

Regular changes in a company belong to one of the few important guarantees in the business world. In the most case these changes are failing! If the management or employee is talking about Change, Communication and Training they probably know some measures. But strategy, tasks and contacts of all three divisions are often not clearly transparent. This leads to uncertainty during the change process: „Wrong Alignments forced me to attend unnecessary training sessions.”

Digitalization is a powerful tool in the right hands – in hands with the knowledge how to deal with this tool. But it´s getting more difficult for companies and their employees through continually changing or replacing of software, since only trained people can handle the software properly. Even the best software is useless in untrained hands.

This leads to a high training requirement and therefore to a higher level of change processes and an increased need for communication. Because change and communication measures aim to accompany the changes in the organization up to the employee, training measures should be coordinated with change and communication. The pooling of change and communication management under one division is an increasingly widespread approach in companies. Communication can improve the change process, but badly executed it can hinder the change process. The goal in the merging of change and communicative measures creates less friction through fewer and correctly chosen information paths. Also the combination avoids misunderstandings or simply bad communication.

Merging of all measures – the integrated approach

Detecon recommend a new, innovative approach – let´s go one step further and combine not only change and communication management, but also training management. This integrated approach provides many benefits, such as:

  • Clarity about the right contact, one contact person for Change, Communication and Training
  • Less alignments between Change, Communication and Training
  • Improved control over all phases of a project
  • Better overview of status and progress
  • Use of uniform standards

The integrative approach not only ensures cost savings in the planning and organization, but also enables the employee to be optimally prepared for the training by accompanied change and communication measures. The knowledge and control over the planning and execution allows to select the best information channels to decide which information has to be send to which employee in perfect timing. Through the better preparation of the employee, the quality of the training is also increased. This leads to a higher employee satisfaction and optimized handling for the upcoming changes in IT.

What key success factors should be considered when implementing an integrated approach for Change, Communication and Training?

The acceptance of all relevant stakeholders to integrate Change, Communication and Training strategies and measures is particularly important. Early involvement and approval of the top management for the integrated approach is one of the most important success factors for digital transformation projects and therefore also for trainings. It is important that no stakeholder feels pass over, in the worst case they can stop the project for political reasons. The top management should understand the goals of the integrated approach. Gain them as supporters, thereby problems can be avoided and necessary coordination can be accelerated. Early participation of the middle management in the development of the integrated approach leads to confidence by offering dialogue to explain the advantages of the changes. The integrated approach helps to provide quick information to the right contact persons and decision-makers in all areas. Therefore it is easier to convey the right information in the correct form to the right person. The target group clearly distinguishes what purpose you want to achieve with the information you send out. In order to ensure acceptance by employees, it is important to know which workflows are specific and which require information is needed. Communication, which cannot demonstrate the personal advantage for the employee of the change will not succeed at this level. 

Figure: Success Factors for the Integrated Approach (Source: Detecon)

The sooner the better

In spite of all possibilities it is important that one Change, Communication and Training team is implemented early in the project. It´s the only way to ensure that each team member has all the necessary information.

Use of uniform standards, e.g. standardized processes in planning and execution of Change, Communication and Training measures ensure efficient work. This leads to avoid duplication of measures as well as a reduction of time and budget expenditure. In addition, a consistently high quality is guaranteed. 

Optimal organization of the integrated approach means clearly defined responsibilities in the team. One single point of contact for Change, Communication and Training in the team helps to identify the right person for each task. To plan strategy and proceed operational tasks each team member should have experience and knowledge in all of three areas. Well-trained staff is therefore indispensable for the implementation of an integrated approach. Each team member should be able to understand different cultures, processes and tasks. The team should also be optimally organized in order to be able to meet just-in-time deliveries and to process many tasks in parallel. Above all, in international projects, the cooperation within the team can be improved by using collaboration tools.  

The integrated approach of Change, Communication and Training ensure a complete overview of all activities, less coordination, reduction of time and costs, better and faster communication as well as a higher acceptance during the implementation of Change, Communication and Training measures. The key factors for successful execution of an integrated approach are an early implementation in project, well-trained staff, acceptance on management and stakeholder level, the ability to remain flexible as well as using uniform standards.

Detecon has already implemented the integrated approach in various projects and therefore a lot of experience, if you want to know more about it…