Business landscape changes with time. New projects, initiatives, structures, etc. may demand change in the existing system for growth.
Some managers are great at their day-to-day operations. But, they may lack the expertise and experience to deal with change management. Also, all the employees are not capable of managing change. For a few employees adapting to a changing environment can be difficult.
Managers may not realize the importance of change management tools. Due to a lack of proper work strategies, they may not communicate well with the employees.
This can lead to negative results.
What could be the reason?
When change management is not proper, there is a lack of clarity. This leads to chaos. Also, this may lead to the employees losing trust in their managers. Unless the reason and goal of change are communicated properly, outcomes won’t be effective.
This is the reason why companies look for change management coaches.
Such coaches help in effective change management.
And how do they do this?
Change management coaches have years of experience and expertise in change management. They know the worth of coaching. They have great coaching skills and coaching techniques to manage change well. These coaches build a solid change management coaching plan to identify the changing needs of a company.
Such coaches help the company’s employees to adapt to new changes. Through one-to-one sessions, they identify the hurdles and devise a plan to overcome those.
Are you someone who can embrace change?
Do you have experience as an employee of a company? Did you handle situations by managing change in the best way possible?
Do you have friends who share their changing office landscape with you? Do they ask for suggestions on adapting to the changing environment?
If yes, then you can become a change management coach.
Do you want to know more about change management coaching?
Great! You are at the right place.
In this article, I would be discussing everything that you must know as a change management coach.
Before we dive in, let’s first understand what is change management coaching.
What is change management coaching?
A company’s employees may experience changes related to many things. These can be changes in schedule. Another type of change could be in ways of operation. Some changes that relate to the structure of the company may happen etc.
Do you know how does most of the companies manage such changes?
The managers simply communicate the changes to the employees.
Hardly they realize the need for telling employees the background story.
And, how does this affects?
Due to a lack of transparency, proper information doesn’t reach the employes. They don’t understand why all of a sudden they are being put from one frame to another.
This “tell them” model fails in managing the effects of changes. It creates a problem for the managers as well. It is usual for them to spend a lot of time in solving the employees’ problems.
Don’t you think this process needs improvement?
This is where change management coaching helps.
Do you know what is the main aim of change management coaching?
It is, to do away with the “tell them” model.
Change management coaching helps the employees to become co-creators of change. The basic idea is – People are more likely to support what they create themselves.
Change management coaching guides the employees to embrace change at every step. Right from the introduction of change till the time they attain comfortability.
As a change management coach, your goal should be three-fold:
- To plan the introduction and implementation of the change before the change program.
- To support the managers and employees during the change program.
- To support the managers and employees after the adoption of the change
Typically, change management coaching includes the following:
- Identifying the need for a change after discussions with managers
- Identifying the best way for the introduction of change to the employees
- Communicating to the employees why the change is important
- Communicating the employees how will the change affect them
- Introducing the best ways to handle the change and get adapted
- Identifying the hurdles during acceptance of change and overcoming them
- Monitoring the performance of employees and tweaking strategies accordingly
- Taking regular feedback from the managers and employees
5 step cycle for change management
I hope you are finding the idea of change management coaching interesting.
Now, let us have a look at the 5 step cycle for change management.
Well, it’s pretty simple.
The 5 step cycle includes the following.
Develop a strategy for change
The beginning should be by building a solid strategy for change management. You, as a change management coach, must do proper analysis for this. You must be aware of the company’s domain, market position, goals, etc.
A change management coach should identify what changes are needed. Along with this, you must also know the existing process. In this way, you will be able to compare well. This will, in turn, allow you to come up with a better strategy.
Align the team members’ perception
Communication is the key here. If you lack good communication skills, it can be problematic. You will become a channel between the managers and the employees. You have to articulate the perception well from one side to another. Ensure that all the members are aligned with each other.
Engage member’s minds and hearts
At the start, employees may not like the change. They would wish to return to the earlier framework. This may eventually contribute to a reduction in productivity.
A change management coach must convey the members the need for change. This should not be done in a bossy tone. If you find any manager doing it in that way, you need to correct him/her as well.
Suppose the change demands the team to work on the weekend. No employee wants it. Here you have to win the hearts of the employees. You need to ensure that they don’t work half-heartedly.
Convey them the need and also tell them the benefits. Recognize their contribution and guide the mentors to acknowledge their efforts. This will motivate the employees and help them perform better.
Provide tools and resources
Coaching is not complete without coaching tools and resources. You cannot just rely on words and actions.
You need tools to monitor and access the members. Such tools help in evaluating the performance of the members and holding them accountable.
Also, a change management coach must set up a perfect feedback system.
Provide team members with worksheets, e-books, presentations, etc. You can also take interactive group sessions to build their interest and solve doubts.
As a change management coach, your goal should be the goal of your client (company).
And, what is that?
It is indeed maximizing the ROI.
Realize the fact that you have been hired to speed up the change management process. But, that’s not the goal. It is, in fact, itself a process to achieve the end goal of maximizing ROI.
So, you should direct all your efforts with that goal in mind.
Will this change management technique help the employees?
Will it allow them to perform better?
Will this ultimately bring new clients?
Will it increase the present sale?
Will it allow the company to expand its services? etc.
What is the role of a change management coach?
We all are in an age where the only constant thing is change. Today the workplaces have different generations of employees. Baby boomers, generation X, generation Z, and Millenials.
Now, there is an ever-increasing need to adopt new technologies and skills. Proper integration of machines and people cannot be neglected. There is a great responsibility on the managers to help their employees to acquire skills.
I hope till now, you must have understood why companies look for change management coaches.
It’s simple, the managers lack time and expertise to set the process right. Thus they look for coaches who can accelerate the path of change management. Also, such coaches already carry immense experience. They know the struggles and can prepare the authorities in advance. With a coach beside the entire process of change management can be smooth. Making the investment worth it.
Do you see how great the value of a change management coach is!?
The main role of the change management coach is in the following three stages.
The introductory stage
At this stage, many members may not accept the change.
The coach first makes the client realize the current state of being.
Then, the coach present before the client the future image. He/she then emphasizes the benefit of the transition.
Does the coach also tell a client how would he/she reach the future image?
The coach’s role is to present the vision and help the client reach it. A good coach always holds the client accountable for his/her actions. This is needed to avoid dependency and make the client self-capable.
The need and advantage of the results of the transformation encourage the clients. This boosts him/her to push for the rest of the journey.
This is the most confusing stage. Here the coach’s role is to guide the client to discover new ways. By asking creative coaching questions, the coach helps the client to identify the best option. This stage is very important. It leads to the final stage – the commitment stage.
At this stage, the client becomes emotionally strong with the change. The client no longer identifies him/herself with the old ways/beliefs/values. The transition phase is achieved. The client seems quite satisfied and at ease with the change.
What skills do you need to become a change management coach?
If you have the passion but lack the necessary skills, it won’t help you much.
Do you want to know what skills you need to become a change management coach?
Great. Let’s have a look.
- Managerial skills – You must be able to manage a company’s operations, members, etc. well.
- Knowledge of the domain – Choose your target domain. Ensure that you have complete knowledge about each aspect.
- Communication skills – You can only win hearts when you are excellent at communication.
- Questioning skills – A coach can only know the situation well if he/she can ask great coaching questions.
- Listening skills – You must listen to the client and try to understand perspectives. The client may not tell you everything. You must have the skills to identify and hear what is unheard of.
- Analyzing skills – Managing change demands excellent analyzing skills.
- People skills – To mix well with the company’s culture, people skills are a must need.
- Patience – Change management requires tolerance and patience. You will face tough times in handling resistance and objection. Patience will be the key.
Change management coaching plan – Must know
Do you know what is going to be the greatest tool in your coaching?
It would be – Change management coaching plan.
This is very important for any change management coach. You can have your plan according to your coaching philosphy also.
Just to give you an idea, I am going to discuss this plan. I am sure it will help you in your coaching.
The first question is – Why is there a need for a change management coaching plan?
So, to educate managers/employees on best change practices, you must have a set process. This plan helps to create and drive that process.
The change management coaching plan outlines the methods to empower the agents of change.
A change management caching plan has the below steps:
Step 1: Identify individuals that need change management coaching
- Conduct an assessment to identify the members and departments that would be affected.
- Identify additional members that may need coaching with the key members.
- Conduct meetings with stakeholders and program sponsors to identify mentees.
Step 2: Create a coaching database
- Create a template to collect the data from mentees.
- Create a database that will contain the information of the mentees.
- You can use tools like AGS’s coaching management tool to build databases.
Step 3: Schedule an introductory meeting
The next step is to schedule a meeting with each mentee. The first meeting is not to begin coaching. The goal of the first meeting should be to have meaningful discussions. It is to “meet and greet”.
This must outline the change that is arriving. You must ask the perception and willingness of each mentee regarding the change. The meeting must end after discussing, in brief, the next steps.
It is a good idea to send an initial mail to the mentee before the meeting. This mail can outline the meeting agenda. If you want to build rapport and connection with the client, this can be helpful.
Step 4: First coaching session
In this session, you must touch some of the important points. This may include (but not limited to):
- Conducting introductions (avoid this if not needed.)
- Give the mentee an overview of the project/business transformation that is driving the need for coaching.
- Emphasize how does the mentee plays a key role during the time of change.
- Discuss what does the mentee understand by key change management practices. Discuss his/her past experiences. Also, try to understand his/her expectations and hesitations.
- Provide your plan which outlines how you will support the mentee.
- The level of support should depend on the mentee’s past experiences with change management. It will also depend on how comfortable he/she is with a changing environment.
Step 5: Update your coaching database
Based on your first session, enter more data into your database. This would include:
- Mentee’s receptiveness to the change
- Level of experience with the company’s change management practices
- Level of coaching activities that you will need to support the change management cycle.
Step 6: Conduct futher coaching sessions
After doing a proper analysis, come up with a plan and start supporting the mentee. Sessions will grow your understanding of the mentee and level of support needed.
Step 7: Communicate perceptions between managers and reporters
It is important to ensure that all the team members are on the same page. As a change management coach, you must boost engagement amongst the members. Organize group sessions. Discuss achievements and strengths. Also, highlight the weakness and scope of improvement.
You need not point out individuals in the discussions. If you have some feedback specific for someone, you can always share that personally.
Step 8: Tweak the plan if the need arises
If you feel that you need to tweak the process/style/approach, then you can do it. This also makes the mentee understand that you are considering him/her and other factors. Ensure that you are not burdening mentees with your idealogy and way.
Listen, reflect, analyze, and revise things if needed. Every client is unique and so is each experience. Customize your coaching plan according to the mentees’ needs to best benefit them.
What steps make an effective change management coaching process?
You must take into account all the stakeholders while developing a change management plan. The basics must be plan well. Keeping this in mind, let’s discuss the steps for effective coaching management.
You must first deliver the change management plan to project sponsors and managers. While doing it, please keep the following in mind.
- Identify the supervisor’s role in change management
- Give guidance to the supervisor/manager on effective communication
- Share the benefits of group coaching/workshops/presentations/discussions
- Set expectations
- Develop a timetable with a schedule for the coaching program
Organize group coaching events
Manage and supervisors should meet to ensure the proper delivery of key messages. Feedback should be effectively sought. Try to build an environment to overcome resistance. This is only possible with exchanging information and having an open discussion.
Such events will help you to identify key influencers. These can behave as a catalyst to grow the positive support for the change initiative.
Conduct effective coaching sessions with individuals
To tailor to individual concerns, such sessions must be conducted. Try to reinforce the self-interests of change.
Identify which methods of coaching, the individual likes the most. Also, consider the direct effects of culture change on the employees. Respect individual’s views and suggest alternative ways to welcome change.
Support the employees to move more quickly. This would ensure fast and full acceptance of change that too willingly.
Do you need any certifications to be a change management coach?
Everyone will answer this question according to their perspectives. Here is mine – No, you don’t!
Though I don’t altogether neglect the worth of coaching certificates. Still, the ground-level experience matters more. The coaching journey will teach you great skills. Your experience will add to your wisdom.
Expertise and experience will increase your chances to get hired.
Still, many believe that certificates establish credibility.
Yeah, to some extent. But then the USA coaching industry is not well-regulated yet. Certificates may increase your chance to prove worthy in front of some people, still, they aren’t a necessity.
Don’t get confused after listening to many suggestions. Study the ups and downs of coaching certifications and then make a personal choice.
How much does a change management coach earn?
According to indeed.com, the average salary of change management coaches is $115,173 per year.
Though this may vary according to the skills, experience, and expertise of the coaches. Also, the region and market have important roles in deciding the figure.
Don’t forget to price and package your coaching services properly.