Learning and development is often cited as an efficient and cost-effective method of engaging employees while increasing their capabilities at work, but it can also be an invaluable tool to assist with any major change and transition that might occur throughout the organisation.
The point made about helping managers to guide their teams properly during times of transition is important. If the transition in question is a downsizing, merger or acquisition, team members might be rightly concerned about how these decisions affect them and their jobs. In cases like these, it will be their managers’ jobs to keep them focused on their work while offering reassurance and encouragement if necessary.
It may be easy for a manager to achieve high levels of employee engagement at other times but, when the attention and thoughts of team members might be on other things, they may struggle to keep them focused on the tasks at hand.
Learning and development training can help managers recognise the negative impact of change on their teams and take steps to limit that impact. Deciding upon success factors during the transition and prioritising the activities of the team in order to get the right things done at the right time are two such things that can be undertaken to ensure the best results are achieved.
Helping new managers
The changes involved within the company could see new managers and team leaders appointed. They will need to hit the ground running and learning and development can assist them in doing so. If a programme can be tailored for the individual aligned to the business’s established objectives and strategy, the process will be more streamlined and the manager can quickly get to grips with what is expected from them in terms of leadership, client services and business development.
The first 100 days are crucial. Breaking the time down into chunks helps the new team leader from feeling overwhelmed, and attempting to plan some early wins in order to settle them into the role more quickly (in addition to demonstrating their abilities and style of work) can be extremely beneficial and reassuring as far as they and everyone else are concerned.
Meanwhile, individual team members may be struggling to comprehend exactly what is going and how this impacts on their duties and position as a whole. In cases like these, learning and development initiatives can help them understand why change needs to happen in the first place and recognise the benefits of it as far as they and the organisation are concerned.
This leads on to the development of their abilities to plan work and manage their time effectively during the change period. This ensures that they can play their part in facilitating a smooth transition for the company as a whole without productivity or engagement levels dropping.
Author: Matt Driscoll
Matt is a regular contributor to Enhance – The Magazine for Learning and Development.