Companies are making changes in order to stay competitive in today's downturn market. Reducing staff, consolidating operations and streamlining processes are some of the ways they are trying to remain open for business and profitable. Engaging employees in change management activities will help them deal with change effectively and move the company through this difficult time. A number of free change management training activities are available to keep costs down.
Facilitating Change and Innovation
The first step in change management is engaging employees in discussion. Change is often accompanied by fear, distrust, denial and disinterest. A free set of questions is available online to help those involved in change understand their feelings and perceptions on change. For example, one question asks what in a particular situation needs to be changed and what needs to stay the same. Another question asks employees what success will look like. The answers to these questions increase understanding and form the solid groundwork for innovation and change.
Organizations are dealing with a changing workforce. Four different generations of workers can be in the same department or team. Each has different viewpoints and needs. Often, younger workers are supervising their older co-workers. The change management activity, Generations, divides workers into teams and assigns them an age group. Once in these groups, they are to approach a situation from that viewpoint and brainstorm ideas for change. The workers switch teams at least once, taking a different point of view. The results of the brainstorming session forms the basis for discussion, increases understanding and debunks some of the myths attached to stereotypical generational thinking.
Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly
Many people resist change because of the fear of the unknown. Or, they are so used to doing something one way that they can't conceive of doing anything differently. This is an exercise that explores beliefs about change through stories, discussion and thought-provoking quotations. Caterpillars can make it through life very nicely, but in order to fly, they have to undergo a significant change. Change is often a painful process. We get used to the comfort of the familiar. Employees can be the same way, reluctant to make the changes necessary to get to the next level in their career, learn new technologies that have become part of their jobs or learn new skills as the old ones become obsolete. This activity uses thought-provoking cartoons to pose questions about change and forces employees to examine their own beliefs about change and see the possibilities for growth.