Talent Management

Five Ways to Ensure an Effective Change Management Process

Image depicting old vs new change processes
Image depicting old vs new change processes

Stacie Grasberger

Stacie Grasberger is a Manager at Educe leading Performance Management and Succession Management CSX (formerly Cornerstone OnDemand) implementations across…

In today’s fast-paced business environment, organizations should have a strategic change management process in place before they roll out a new talent management system or process.

The change management plan should help guide employees through the new process and give them the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Below are five best practices organizations should consider as they build out a change management campaign for their new talent management process: 

#1: Secure buy-in from leadership and middle management

It is imperative for organizations to get buy-in from senior leadership before they roll out a new talent management process to an entire organization. However, companies should not ignore middle management either. They will ultimately be responsible for communicating the changes to the largest number of employees. Incorporating input from middle management makes them a part of the process and champions of the change. This will help to alleviate and manage employee resistance.

TIP: Get senior leaders on board by creating a vision that they cannot ignore. Provide examples as to how the new process will add value to employees, managers, and leaders and make sure to tie into broader organizational goals. Involve senior leaders in the process of creating the vision so they get behind it, support it, and embody it with other employees.

#2: Create the change plan

Senior leadership and HR need to work together to select appropriate change agents who will lead the charge to address talent management process changes and identify key stakeholders who will be affected by the change. Identifying these key audiences early allows the organization to develop a framework that ensures the process is supported by the correct employees and the plan is targeting the correct audiences. Then, the change agents should work together closely to design and create the necessary action plan to actuate the vision.

TIP: Create a template that can be used to document the roles and responsibilities of each change agent. An example of this template can be found below:

Owner Team Support
Michael Smith Human Resources Create training materials
Jennifer Richardson Internal                Communications Develop internal communication materials
Lauren Henderson Senior Leader Host in-office meetings


#3: Deliver the communication plan

A key component to an effective change management process is the communication plan. To help support a smooth transition, organizations must identify the appropriate channels to communicate the changes and build a timeline for when those changes will be announced. Communication should occur often and gradually. Organizations should build a coalition of supportive leaders to help deliver the key messages and garner support for the new process. Get the word out!

  • Visualize the change. Create visual graphics to detail the new talent management process in an easy to consume way. Include a timeline for when the changes will be implemented and consider the best channels for distributing your graphics. If your employees are predominantly on-site, print and hang office signage. If your workforce is hybrid or remote, send the graphics in email or post on a company intranet. Wide distribution of this information will help support the Change Vision and campaign.
  • Collaborate with senior leadership to host meetings where employees can learn about the new process, ask questions, and provide feedback. If possible, the message can be delivered at a scheduled town hall or company meeting. If you have remote employees, hold webinars, and mail any materials that are given to employees in the office.
  • Create a video tutorial to walk employees through the new process and technology. Show employees how to submit quarterly reviews, create check-ins, etc.
  • Leverage your Talent Management system. Many platforms have tools to help users become acclimated with a new feature or functionality within the platform. Employees can use these tools to customize their own navigation within the interface. Consider rolling this out for users when you initially launch new functionality to users and managers.  Consider using digital adoption platforms such as MyGuide or WalkMe that allows for interactive walk-through and in application step-by-step actions on the screen/user interface to help guide employees in real-time.

TIP: Build a plan that allows for agility and flexibility. If a technique or channel isn’t working, try something else! Users may need to see your message a few times before they begin to absorb the information.

#4: Anticipate roadblocks

A successful change management process includes preparation for any roadblocks that might hinder or delay the process. The team should be aligned with the timeline and take into consideration any conflicts with other organizational-wide programs such as product launches, company-wide events, etc. If other programs/events are scheduled around the same time, senior leaders must evaluate the user threshold for handling change during a specific period. Is there a way to combine or work with the other programs so communication and training can include both workstreams?

TIP: If a company-wide calendar of events does not currently exist, consider working with senior leaders across departments (Product, Marketing, Finance, HR, etc.) to build a schedule of important dates. Make the calendar accessible on your company intranet, so teams can make updates when events/projects are scheduled.

#5: Monitor the new process and measure the impact of the change

Work does not stop once the new talent management process is introduced. An effective change management process ensures that change agents proactively follow-up with end users to give them an opportunity to provide feedback on the program. Use the feedback to make any enhancements to the process or system. When communicating the new changes, be sure to let users know the new features have come from direct feedback so employees feel encouraged and a part of the process. Collect feedback and promote new enhancements in the following ways:

  • Measure and track: Establish analytics to help identify trends and track the status of the change. How is the change being received? Are people completing the necessary actions timely? Are we receiving questions and tickets where users need additional support? Do people like the change?
  • Offer follow-up training and working sessions: Use this time to educate end users about any new features within your talent management process. Additionally, check in with employees to collect feedback and make sure they are using the new software correctly.
  • Create a survey: Build a survey to collect feedback on how employees feel about the new process. Ask questions relating to the timeline of the release, the technology used, the instructions provided, etc.
  • Send out internal communications: Send an email to your organization or include a section in your monthly newsletter to collect feedback and announce any new features.
  • Host focus groups: Organize volunteer-based focus groups to collect feedback on the process and gauge how employees feel about new enhancements. Make sure the focus groups have a variety of users – from employees to managers to executives – to get a wide range of diverse feedback.
  • Adjust: No change plan is entirely perfect. Use the feedback you receive and adjust where necessary. This will further garner commitment from employees and allow your change plan to mold to the needs of the organization.

Related Content