Over the past few years business leaders have had to learn to adapt to new changes and information faster than ever before.
This shift to expecting the unexpected has highlighted the need for change management practices to be embraced and adopted from the CEO down to the customer service representative (CSR).
That being said, knowing that change is coming doesn’t make it easier to accept. Whenever a business experiences a big change it takes time for everyone to integrate new patterns, behaviours, and expectations into their routines.
One of the keys to being prepared is understanding the trends shaping how businesses adjust to the future of work. With this knowledge, leaders can prepare their teams to adapt to new rollouts and organizational changes as soon as they’re needed.
The Top 5 Change Management Trends for 2023
What trends should you look for in 2023? Below are five of the biggest we see coming:
1. The Use of Digital Tools to Facilitate and Support Change
No matter what kind of change you’re trying to enact, getting team members on the same page and making it as easy as possible for them to learn what’s expected is essential.
Hands-on training, formal education sessions, and e-learning options are all good starting points, but integrating training into a learning management system (LMS) can go a long way towards helping employees retain essential information.
Tools like TalentLMS, Docebo, and Udemy Business empower employees to get up to speed more quickly with in-app guidance and predetermined workflows. You can even use LMS tools like ours to guide your own learning!
With LMS platforms, businesses can create (or add!) in-app content, including:
- Interactive walkthroughs
- Task lists
- Step-by-step workflows
- Knowledge bases
LMS platforms can also give leadership teams insights and analytics into how well their teams are adjusting to change, or if they need extra help adopting a new practice. You can also track the content employees are using and which guides are being opened most often to get a sense of any additional training that might be needed.
2. Managers Need to Lead the Charge for Change
Team leaders and managers play an outsized role in implementing change initiatives since they interface with their teams every day, so it’s important for them to understand how they approach change, and how others approach it differently, so they can begin to shift their behaviors and lead their teams more effectively.
When leaders are willing to step in and reinforce the need for change and offer extra direction, support, and feedback to their team members, it makes the job of a change manager that much easier.
Other benefits to “change adoption” at the leadership level include:
- Questions being answered more quickly
- More hands-on support for team members
- Familiar support for employees from someone they already know
Getting managers and team leaders on board at the outset of the proposed change makes managing the initiative that much easier!
3. Change is Becoming Part of Company Culture
In a post-pandemic world, change is an expected part of life.
While companies may have been able to resist or put it off in the past, new technology, the shift to a hybrid or fully remote workforce, and changing employee and customer expectations mean that processes might look completely different from one year to the next.
With this in mind, companies have started adopting change as part of their company culture. You may have noticed the emergence of language like “flexible,” “agile,” “always learning,” and “failing quickly” being baked into companies’ mission statements, which is evidence of change becoming a part of a company’s core beliefs and values.
By prioritizing change management and looking for employees who can adapt to change quickly (or are willing to learn), businesses are becoming more collaborative, adaptive, and forward-thinking. Employees and teams are encouraged to find ways to “break the mould” and do things more effectively compared to years past.
4. Change Management is Data-Driven
Nowadays, how and what will change within a business’ processes is determined by data.
Instead of making assumptions about how a company should adapt or waiting to make a change until the last minute, companies are using data to watch for trends and take action.
Using tools like social media, internal social platforms, and employee engagement apps, change leaders can better understand employee needs and expectations.
Data allow leaders to see how their teams are adapting to change in real-time and provide additional supports or resources if needed. Data also allow them to keep key stakeholders up-to-date on how things are going.
Data can also help shape future change trends! Using surveys, analytics, and other feedback tools, managers can learn what worked well and what needs to be adjusted to make the next change process more effective.
5. “Humanizing” Change
Instead of looking at change as a necessary evil or something to be muddled through, companies need to frame change as opportunities for both the company and employees to learn and grow.
Some examples of how to “humanize” change are to consider it:
- A chance to adopt a new skill
- A chance to learn something new
- A way to improve employees’ professional lives
- A way to help everyone work more effectively
- A method of increasing collaboration
By framing change in this way, managers and change leaders can help employees get excited about change. By humanizing change, employees can see it as a way to make their jobs more fulfilling and enjoyable.
Managing Change in 2023 (and Beyond!)
For better or worse, the rapid pace of change is here to stay. Companies need to be forward-thinking about accepting and implementing changes that benefit both the company and employees alike.
Become certified in the Change Style Indicator and help your teams manage change for success. By paying attention to the latest trends and learning how your workplace teams react to change, you can pave the way for years of positive and productive workplace changes.