How to Evolve Change Management Certification for Digital Change
Change management practices themselves have been evolving at rapid speed. But have change management certification programs been keeping up?
Because technology drives a vast majority of change initiatives, working with and among digital tools have become a crucial focal point of change management.
To keep up with the pace of change in the digital age, change managers must up the credentials in change management certification.
Traditional change management certification requirements
Most change management certifications focus on fulfilling traditional change management practices and protocols — the basics.
- Identifying areas for change
- Implementing change
- Combatting employee resistance
- Deploying change management tools/processes
However, this basic approach fails to account for the complexities and challenges associated with digital change.
Here are three arguments for including digital skills in change management certification requirements:
1. A major portion of change initiatives today revolves around digital technology and digital transformation. Understanding what kinds of changes digital transformation demands will better equip change managers for executing effective change programs.
2. Digital technology will only become a bigger part of modern work. Already, in many industries most worked is performed on the computer. Each department has its own needs and demands for sophisticated digital tools to achieve their goals. As technology progresses even further, these demands will rise.
3. Results will be boosted in proportion to digital skills. By becoming digitally savvy, change managers can boost results, enhance long-term career prospects, and make themselves more marketable.
Without a doubt, being equipped to drive digital change is central to effective change.
Likewise, it should be central to change management certification.
New change management certification requirements
We’ve established how important digital skills are for today’s change managers. Now the question arises — which skills should change managers learn?
The short answer is that they should focus on skills that enable them to address the factors that lead to resistance.
To get ready for today’s evolving environment, here are five new things that should be included in today’s digital change programs:
1. Understand where employees struggle on technology, what their overall needs are, and how technology will impact employees
Employee resistance is well-known as one of the biggest obstacles to effective change.
Unfortunately, unless handled properly, digital technology can increase resistance and frustration.
Knowing how employees are impacted by technology will help change managers tackle resistance, objections, and frustrations before they occur.
This is one of the most essential ingredients that contribute to successful change programs.
2. Be aware of current change management tools, software, and capabilities
Change managers themselves must use technology, so it pays to understand change management tools and software.
This will help change managers support employees, execute change initiatives more smoothly, and boost success rates.
Change management tools include:
- Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) – Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP) are tools that offer in-app training, on-demand learning, and AI-driven analytics of software usage
- Project management software – Wide-scale change initiatives include many moving parts. Competency on project management software will give you the confidence to provide the necessary oversight of the change effort.
- Knowledge tools – Software such as knowledge bases and other go-to resources are essential for communication with employees.
These are some of the most essential tools that can help change managers stay current and effective.
3. Understand how adding new digital tools affects workflows
Every new software deployment will have a different impact on the workplace.
Understanding how different types of tools impact workflows can help change managers prepare for and prevent problems. It can also help ease transitions and enhance their results.
For instance, change managers should learn:
- How employees’ individual duties will change
- The learning curve
- How productivity will be impacted
- Whether employees’ will need re-skilling and how much
- The psychological impact of the deployment
Not every software tool is created equally.
The installation of new email software, for instance, may not impact employees much at all.
On the other hand, installing an automation tool that automates a large portion of an employee’s workload will have a much greater impact.
4. Address the importance of employee training and software onboarding to drive successful digital change
Digital transformation and digital adoption are, as mentioned, the most common cases of change in today’s workplace.
This means that a large portion of change initiatives will involve onboarding and training.
To successfully manage digital change, it is necessary to:
- Effectively train employees on new software
- Understand how new digital tools can enhance but also disrupt the workflow
- Find ways to decrease learning curves and increase productivity
Automating portions of the onboarding process will help change managers in a number of ways.
Not only will they make their programs more effective, but they will also be able to track, analyze, and understand their efforts.
5. Create a digital adoption strategy and solution
A digital adoption strategy is critical when your change effort includes the addition of new digital tools.
By now, change managers understand that digital transformation is not merely “installing a new piece of software.” Empowering employees to use digital tools as they are intended and the full extent is essential.
The bar for change management certification is rising
Today’s digital workplace needs modern approaches, new tools, and current strategies.
For these reasons, among others, change management certification requirements should stay updated.
If these requirements don’t stay current, then change managers won’t be equipped to deal with today’s competitive, technology-driven workplace. And, as a result, their change programs will suffer.