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Why does Leadership Training fail?

And what can HR Managers do about it?

When you implement a new leadership training program there is never a guarantee it will work.


A whole range of factors can contribute to the success or failure of a leadership training program. The good news is that the factors which contribute to a failure can often be managed, ensuring your leadership training can generate a return on investment.


A recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Why Leadership Training Failsdug into how leadership training can often be a poor investment. HBR attributed this to an organisation’s structure and culture being a bottleneck for positive learning and training outcomes.


So, where does this leave you as a HR manager?  In this month’s blog, we’ll outline the main reasons why training may produce a poor outcome and provide you with the resources to drive ROI from your training programs.



What causes leadership training to fail?

At Choice Career Services, we’ve spent a lot of time working with HR Managers and we know you’re all too familiar for the reasons training can produce a poor investment. The reasons which we’ve found resonate the most include:

  •  Lack of strategic clarity
  • Leadership not working as a team (I vs We mentality)
  •  ‘It is my way or the highway’ attitude from leaders stifling change discussions
  • Dysfunctional organisation structures impede teamwork
  • Leaders not spending the time identifying and developing talent
  • Employees fear of telling the truth as to what creates organisational dysfunction

We can see how the examples above can even impact Australia’s cricket performance. Currently the Australian test team is struggling to generate results and the selection of the next test team illustrates a perception the problem is a ‘people’ issue. Strong leadership should clearly ask themselves the hard questions if they really want to turn around the cricket team. 



How can I maximise the return of leadership training?

What can HR managers do? The typical solution we’ve seen is to spend even MORE on training to compensate for incompetent people!


But, given the typical reasons for leadership training to fail, do we really believe this will improve return on training investment? I doubt it.


Recently, we’ve seen large organisations undertaking major change programs and remaining wholly focused on the people. Obviously, this comes with a significant cost, but will they ever bother to determine if it produces a positive return on investment?



The critical thing organisations are missing is that organisational change starts at the top.

As the HR business partner, you have a unique opportunity to demonstrate to your leadership team how best to generate a return on their training investment. By having the leadership team ask themselves the challenging and confronting questions, and then commit to an agreed course of action, you can play a key part in getting training to work and produce a return.



What are my next steps?

Top HR Managers leverage a targeted coaching program, underpinned by sound analysis and a commitment to making organisational change sustainable.


You have the potential to drive change and make a difference in training ROI – we’ve seen it before.


For more information on how you can drive a return on your training investment contact Choice Career Services on 1800 823 213

How did Ford manage their employee redundancy?

Discover what best-practice management of employee redundancy looks like.

This month the last Ford rolled off the production line in Australia.


While the powerful global brand isn’t disappearing altogether, nor its status as a significant employer of Australians, by this time next year there will be no automotive manufacturing left in Australia from any of the mainstream car companies.


The brands will live on, but the employees that spent so many years working for these employers will be forced to manage career change. The challenge for the employees is the career changes they face were not of their choosing.


The automotive industry is not alone in dealing with this structural change. Many organisations across the Government and Private sector need to manage the impact of change for the entity and its employees.


The industry, and all levels of Government, have been incredibly empathetic towards the employees that work in automotive and  have made major investments in support services, to ensure employees have the best opportunity for the next phases of their career.


In this month’s blog, we walk through the key areas of transition support Ford provided to ensure their employees could more effectively manage career change.


What does ‘good’ transition management look like?

Across the major car companies, each manufacturer has adopted a different approach to prepare their employees for transition.


Organisations find no joy managing employee redundancy, and across all manufacturers there is a clear intention to provide support for their, typically long serving, employees.


When it comes to best-practice transition management six core areas immediately come to mind. These include:


1. Career planning

2. Job searching

3. Financial advice

4. Re-training support

5. Development of employment networks

6. Building a Full Circle© network of employers seeking to employ industry employees with their specific skills


These are all valuable areas worthy of focus and are likely to assist an employee transition towards a new career. However, in our experience there are additional intangible factors which should be factored into transition support.


The difference between good and World-Class

The reason why we started this blog discussing Ford, is because they’re part of an industry recognising the significance of the closure decision and the difference between ‘good’ and ‘world-class’ employee redundancy management.


They understand there are many intangible factors which need to be factored into offering transition support which clearly addresses the needs of their employees.


There are eight offerings which separate good from World-Class. These include:


1. Preparing for and managing change

2. Managing salary expectations

3. Managing changes to working conditions

4. Preparing employees for a different way of working

5. Preparing employees to understand the needs of external employers

6. Building alternative communication skills

7. Building initiative skills

8. Development of a personal value proposition


Too many times we’ve seen these eight points be completely overlooked or disregarded by an organisation and its employees. Often, these skills are hard to define and measure, but the impact of incorporating this type of assistance into a transition plan can pay dividends in terms of sustainable new employment. 


Choice Career Services - Ford Broadmedows

Choice Career Service – Helping Ford achieve their World-Class employee transition plan at their Broadmeadows plant.


By focusing on both the immediately obvious and the softer skills involved in career transition, employees are given the best opportunity to take control over the next phase of their career, and make the best of the opportunity presented by a redundancy.


What next?

At Choice Career Services, we’ve supported hundreds of organisations better manage the human impact of change. We provide Ford with the support they required, and we’re excited to help any organisation better support employees during a career transition.

To help you better manage the human impact of change, please call us on 1800 823 213.




The secret to successful organisational change management

Discover the four building blocks of successful organisational change management

Organisational change management is essential as transformation becomes the way forward in today’s digital environment. But, how will you manage the human impact of these changes?


Behind every great organisation is a thriving workplace comprised of individual employees. A failure of any organisation to meet their basic needs during workplace change could be disastrous for morale and retention!


A recent McKinsey article discussed the four building blocks critical for building a solid foundation to support your organisational change management and transformation initiatives.


Known as the ‘influence model’ it was estimate change programs supported by this basic framework were eight times more likely to succeed!  With such significant results, why wouldn’t you implement this in your organisation?


Tell me more about the four building blocks

According to McKinsey the influence model is characterised by four key areas which aim to change employee mindset and foster positive behaviours. Before a deep-dive into each area see the image below for an overview of how it all sits together:


Graphic of the four building blocks

Image by Tessa Basford and Bill Schaninger in McKinsey Quarterly, April 2016.


1. Fostering understanding and conviction:

In last month’s blog we talked about the need for organisation to take a journey where the destination is clearly understood across the organisation, along with the journey’s milestones.


For successful organisational change management the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the transformation must be understood across all levels of the organisation, not just the executive! McKinsey makes a similar point, without fostering an environment of understanding and conviction your change program is off to a poor start.


2. Reinforcing with formal mechanisms:

Whenever you’re embarking on an organisational change management project, outlining the milestone and a process for recognising them and celebrating their achievement is critical.


As McKinsey argues, recognition and celebration don’t have to be monetary. Another benefit of reinforcing the achievement of a milestone is it embeds the behaviours required to achieve further progress.


This sounds like common sense, but remember only 1 in 4 change management programs are successful long term so, as they say, “it ain’t that common.”


3. Developing talent and skills:

For organisational change management initiatives to succeed people must believe their efforts will assist in making the change.


Seeing the impact of change (we can now leverage technology to provide almost real time feedback or reinforcement) will instil in the organisation the confidence to continue to move forward with purpose.


4. Role modelling:

Critical for organisational change is having key influencers within the organisation becoming champions of change. Social media channels are one we to demonstrate influence across the organisation.



How can I implement this before my next organisational change management initiative?

The four foundational elements of an organisational change management program seem to be pretty obvious right? Well, today a vast majority of organisations are failing to leverage these four key areas to hit their transformation goals.


Critically, if you’re in the middle of a change project and you feel the people around you have lost sight of the end destination, or the steps we’re meant to be taking along the way, it’s time to evaluate how you can massively improve the likelihood of the program’s success.


At Choice Career Services we’ve supported hundreds of organisations, ensuring there is clarity and structure around their change management programs. If you feel lost on a journey or are looking to set the foundations for a new initiative contact us on 1800 823 213.

Is your organisation losing half its revenue due to poor change management?

Start managing the human impact of change management and take control of the success of your organisations change initiatives.

I’m sure you’ve had the experience of sitting and listening to a new vision or strategy from the CEO. Sometimes these are a hit and you can’t wait to jump on the bus, but in some cases you can tell the impact of these changes on employees hasn’t been well considered.


Businesses need to be agile in order to remain relevant in today’s market. But this doesn’t mean overlooking the needs of employees during times of change. Without a strong roadmap to follow not only will any change initiatives struggle, but your organisation may even lose out on revenue!


A study by McKinsey looked at projects across 40 organisations with one of the key variables being an Organisational Change Management Program against a project’s ROI. This study revealed:


  • 143% ROI when an excellent OCM program was part of the initiative
  • Only 35% ROI when there was a poor OCM program or no program


Therefore, while you may not be involved directly in generating revenue, your role in managing the human impact of change can result in a better ROI – so make sure your management team doesn’t overlook this!



Why bother with Organisational Change Management?

Organisations have to change, but managing how this change impacts employees is critical in determining the overall success of these initiatives. Key things to consider are how the plan will impact the people required to deliver the changes, and how will they be expected to deliver?


Over years of experience, we’ve seen some truly innovative ideas become unfortunate episodes in an organisation because they lacked a roadmap to follow. It’s your job to ensure that a great change management plan becomes embedded in an organisation, and that everyone feels comfortable jumping on board with the plan.


In our experience, the best visions and strategies can easily become a black mark in their history book because the roadmap to success is not well defined. If you want employees in your organisation to buy a bus ticket you better make sure they’re convinced the bus is heading the right way!



What does good look like?

In most cases, organisational change strategies come from the top-down. While there is nothing innately wrong with this, in our experience the single largest determinant of their success is organisation wide buy-in.


Remember, there is a human impact for every change initiative which, if successfully managed, can lead to a great result for the organisation.


Typically, it’s the people having to execute against these strategies which will make or break the program. In order for them to purchase a ticket, they’ll need a very clear sense of:

  • Where are we going?
  • Who is driving the bus?
  • Why has that destination been chosen?
  • What is the road they need to follow?
  • When are we leaving? (When does the change begin and what is expected of me?)
  • The quality of the vehicle they will use?
  • How much personal effort will they need to invest?
  • Are we there yet? (Have we established the markers and signposts to let us know we are making progress?)

So before your CEO decides to plan a companywide excursion, make sure everyone in the organisation that will be taking a ride knows exactly what is expected of them and where they’ll end up!


Of course, there is a lot more to managing organisational change and for more information you can contact Choice Career Services on 1800 823 213.

The 10 Commandments of Organisational Change Management

When your organisation makes a decision about change how well prepared are you to get the ball rolling?


It’s estimated only 25% of organisational change initiatives are successful over the long term. These results invite criticism of change that can be felt throughout a company. Especially when an average of 22% of managers felt their training to support the organisational change was ineffective.


Everyday organisation have to make decisions about changes – but how do you know if you’re making the right decision, or if your changes will resonate with the organisation?


In our experience, delivery sustainable and successful organisational change programs requires working through the following 10 steps:


Detailed planning


1. Does your plan define success?

Too often success is not defined making it difficult for those affected by change to recognise progress.


2. What is the plan?

To reach the required destination there must be a plan. If you are taking people on a journey they want to know how they will reach the destination.


3. How resilient is your organisation?

Can they successfully manage the change being proposed? How successful has the organisation been previously in managing change? If not, why will this project be any different?


4. Have all of the stakeholders affected by change been identified?

Has an analysis been undertaken of the likely impact of the change upon the stakeholders and how it is to be effectively addressed with them?


5. Is your team capable of initiating and managing the difficult conversations which are often part of the change process?


Strong leadership


6. Do you have the right people within the organisation to lead the change program?

Successful change management programs are driven by leaders who are passionate about the reasons for change and have the commitment to inspire the organisation to make the change journey.


Effective communications


7. Have you clearly defined the message to be communicated?

What is it you want those affected by change to understand? What is the most effective to communicate with each of the stakeholder groups? Who is the best person(s) to communicate with the stakeholders?




8. How will you measure progress?

It is important with major change programs for there to be milestones along the change journey which demonstrate to all stakeholders that success is being achieved.


9. Celebrate success.

The small wins add up to delivery of major change. Draw attention to what has been achieved and recognise progress is being made against plan.




10. What is the implementation plan?

Have all of the risks been identified? How are they to be managed? Who are the best people to manage implementation? Are they equipped for success?


These 10 points are fundamental to the success of any organisational change program.

Remember, change is driven by people and affects people. It is important your change program recognises there is always a human impact of change.

Don’t allow only 25% of your change management initiatives to work. By going through our 10 steps you can guarantee the success of your organisational change program.


For additional information about managing change in your organisation contact Choice Career Services on 1800 823 213