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Ideas Development

eLearning and the Art of Change Management

How can you avoid the pitfalls of change management? Let’s dive in.

Japanese scholar Okakura Kakuzō famously stated, “The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.” In the business world, few companies demand as swift and wide-ranging readjustments as those that have been recently acquired or merged. A solid training plan helps employees transition smoothly in the wake of mergers or acquisitions. By developing a plan that includes custom eLearning, you not only build a solid foundation for your company’s next phase, but also provide a sound basis for training as you move forward.

It’s a sad fact: often the employees responsible for day-to-day operations are the ones left most in the dark in the shake-ups surrounding mergers and acquisitions —even when a transition plan is in place. Your organization depends on prepared, informed participants in order to have a positive transformation. At the 2015 KMWorld Conference, Hitachi Consultant Steve Barth explained:

It’s not so much that there’s a bad idea in the plan itself, but we tend to focus almost exclusively on the technical implementation and not getting the people ready to go. As a result, we offer a system that doesn’t really meet people’s direct needs, and the people themselves aren’t willing to do the necessary effort to learn the system and to learn how to get the most knowledge into and out of the system.

How do these shortfalls happen? How can they be avoided? At NogginLabs, we can help your mergers and acquisitions become what they’re supposed to be: exciting, well-organized opportunities for change and growth. Let’s take a look at what your company must achieve for effective change management, and how eLearning can make it happen.

CONVEY YOUR VISION

NogginLabs’ CEO Traci Knudson spent years in the corporate world before helming NogginLabs. In that time, she witnessed first-hand what can happen when mergers and acquisitions neglect training and communication in their transition plans. When she saw an organization acquired by a much-larger entity, the loss of direction was nearly crippling.

“There wasn’t any handbook, or game plan, or new set of rules,” Knudson explains. In place of this, confusion and speculation caused “too much time spent gossiping, worrying, or figuring out the SOPs.”

A well thought-out training plan helps your organization’s talent understand where they stand and where they are heading. Employees engage with eLearning as individuals and internalize its message better than any top-down screencast or email. A clear vision builds trust and confidence. When your employees have a strong sense of awareness of where they are now and where they will be in the future, a positive culture emerges. To attain success, you must first define it.

Change for the better by changing better.

CLARIFY YOUR CULTURE

When a company Knudson worked for was broken up into several smaller ones by division, “People who may have worked in the cube next to you for years were moved off to work for a new company. Their full integration might take 12 months, even though their true company changed right away. Culture was a huge issue.”

Your business culture is central to how your employees interact and communicate. Shared values, priorities, and attitudes are what make a workplace work! ELearning lets your employees not only receive the cultural guidance they need, but also the opportunity to apply these in a safe and instructive environment. Help your employees navigate a cultural sea change and keep on sailing, together.

UNIFY YOUR TRAINING

When Knudson went from working for a publicly traded $1 billion company that was still operated by the founders to a global giant with $100 billion in sales, “We were worried by new templates, new rules, new faceless managers located all over the globe. We were inundated with conference calls with new colleagues all over the world and in every time zone.” At another organization, a reorganization presented a “huge obstacle of uncoupling P&Ls, divisions, plants from our existing system and “reporting it over” to a new company. In a highly regulated field, it was a nightmare.”

When mergers and acquisitions occur, the playing field changes. Outdated documentation, misconceptions about current procedures, and inconsistent messaging can persist long after organizations are combined. NogginLabs can give your training the single, unified voice you need for a new level of expertise. Even better, business simulation does not merely present knowledge, but enables behavior change through active engagement and application.

From gamified training, to business simulations and more, eLearning solutions make the life after mergers and acquisitions more than a matter of survival; they make it a path to success. Change for the better by changing better. Develop training that helps your employees lead the way.

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