Change Management Specialist Onboarding: Position for Success in an Ever-Changing World
And given the pace of change in today's economic and corporate landscape, change management specialists play an essential role in modern organizations. They can make the difference between successful change initiatives and sheer failure.
"Meaningful change is a rarity in today's organizational cultures," says Mark Samuel, CEO of IMPAQ Corporation.
And why is that?
Because most organizations need more effective change management.
Change management specialists, however, can make a difference—they drive, monitor, and deliver effective change in organizations.
So, if you're welcoming a new change management specialist to your organization, set them up for success from their first day with proper change management specialist onboarding.
In this article, we'll show you how.
✈️ Why is onboarding important for change management specialists?
The adage, "the only constant is change," is alive and well.
According to Gartner, typical organizations have had five major firm-wide changes in the past three years, and most expect this to increase.
Yet, most organizations fail to manage change well, resulting in wasted resources and lost opportunities. And in the worst-case scenario, failed change management can mean significant value destruction.
As there is a lot that can go wrong with change initiatives, change management specialists are vital. They plan, monitor, and assess organizational change initiatives to maximize benefits, overcome barriers, and improve the employee experience.
And you can help by giving them a supportive, effective, and motivating onboarding experience when they join your organization.
As Forbes Councils Member Meighan Newhouse explains, the effective onboarding of new hires is more important than ever!
📝 Change management specialist onboarding 30-60-90 day plan template
So, how can you provide the best onboarding experience for your new change management specialist?
Our suggestion: By using a constructive 30-60-90 day onboarding plan that sets clear milestones and expectations.
Here's a template to guide you.
Prepare for your change management specialist's arrival by completing the required onboarding paperwork and administrative tasks.
✔️ Onboarding documentation—Organize their paperwork:
- Legal, tax, and compensation documents.
- Internal company documents, e.g., organizational charts, company policies and procedures, mission statements, hybrid work arrangements, and leave entitlements.
- Role-specific information about your organizational change management framework, the systems and tools used, and support for professional memberships such as PMI and ACMP.
✔️ Systems and hardware access:
- work premises,
- change management systems, including project management, organizational planning, management tools,
- employee survey tools.
✔️ Team preparation: Inform colleagues about your new change management specialist and set up onboarding meetings with key stakeholders such as HR, L&D, internal communications, and other facilitators of organizational transformations, e.g., IT and systems, operations, and risk management.
✔️ Plan their first week: Set out activities and priorities for their first week to help them settle into the flow of work.
✔️ Gather content: Collect and update relevant information, including:
- An onboarding presentation to orientate them with your organization, management roles, and colleagues.
- Internal policies, core systems and processes, and compliance procedures.
- Company priorities and implications for organizational change.
- Information about any imminent change management activities, including details about sponsors and key stakeholders.
- Any handover notes from predecessors.
✔️ Document your organization's change management framework, including:
- HR's role and the approach to internal communications;
- organizational development perspective;
- IT and systems facilitation;
- leadership engagement and the management process;
- relevant L&D programs;
- risk management, business processes, and operations requirements;
- change champions.
✔️ Prepare a training checklist: Identify relevant training programs, e.g., Six Sigma, PMI, CCMP, PROSCI, ADKAR, Agile, or soft skills such as interpersonal skills and verbal communication skills.
➡️ Want to maximize the impact of training for your new hires? Then, check out our 15 best practices for training new employees.
Make your new change management specialist feel welcome by preboarding them.
✔️ Send a welcome package: Include company merchandise and other items to pique their enthusiasm.
✔️ Send a welcome message: Help them feel like they belong to your organization:
- Include information about your organization's culture and perspective.
- Answer commonly asked questions.
- Describe past experiences with business transformation and how it benefitted your people and organization.
- Make them feel welcome even if they're a remote hire.
➡️ Need welcome package suggestions? Check out these ten welcome package ideas to inspire and enthuse.
Give your new change management specialist a great start on their first day.
✔️ Arrange a welcome reception: Greet them with team introductions, 1:1 time, and an onboarding buddy to guide them through their settling-in period.
✔️ Ensure access: Follow up on your preparations for access to the business premises, systems, hardware, and tools.
✔️ Take them through orientation:
- Familiarize them with your organization's mission and vision.
- Take them on a workplace tour (in-person or virtual).
- Acquaint them with your company's change management framework.
Continue helping them to settle in after their first day.
✔️ Have 1:1 conversations: Discuss expectations, how you'll work together, build rapport, and fill knowledge gaps.
💡 We've created a 1:1 meeting agenda template to help you hold more structured and productive meetings.
✔️ Establish role clarity: Set out and explain the specific responsibilities of their role, including tasks, deliverables, processes, goals, and KPIs, such as:
- Analyze and assess change management risks and impacts.
- Conduct change-readiness assessments.
- Map and develop processes and identify areas for improvement.
- Lead change initiatives.
- Develop organizational change strategies, goals, and metrics.
- Manage relationships with key stakeholders, including HR, IT, senior leaders, operations, risk management, communications, and L&D.
- Develop and maintain communication strategies for effective change.
✔️ Encourage networking: Set up in-person and virtual coffee or lunch roulettes with colleagues and stakeholders to promote engagement.
✔️ Initial assignment: Get them started early on a project.
For example, start by sharing a business playbook that outlines your organization's business management principles, processes, and goals. Then, have your new change management specialist use it as a point of reference when assessing the impacts and effectiveness of recent change management initiatives. Finally, ask them to identify areas for improvement and determine any potential errors in the previous process.
✔️ Celebrate: Highlight their early milestones with a message or meeting to celebrate their progress and build enthusiasm.
First 30 days
During their first month, help your new change management specialist become more proficient:
✔️ Check in regularly: Use Slack, Teams, email, or in-person chats to offer useful tips and guidance.
✔️ Check their progress: Help them understand their KPIs and meet their core deliverables.
✔️ Onboarding buddy: Check in with their onboarding buddy.
✔️ Ask for feedback: Solicit feedback to clarify their expectations, build rapport, reinforce positive behavior, and identify areas for improvement in the onboarding process.
➡️ Use our handy onboarding survey template to get meaningful feedback from your new hires.
Continue supporting them into their second month.
✔️ Organize training: Promote career growth and address knowledge gaps with training in areas like project management, change management certifications, communications, interviewing techniques, analytics, or conflict resolution.
✔️ Review progress: Reiterate the purpose and scope of their role and review their progress to date, answer any outstanding questions, and check in with their onboarding buddy.
✔️ Give feedback: Offer feedback to motivate them and reinforce positive behaviors while offering support and building trust.
➡️ Not sure how to give effective feedback? Discover which type of feedback is most helpful for new hires and how to make your feedback constructive.
After two months, your new change management specialist should be settled in and working. You can continue to support them by:
✔️ Promoting continued growth: Support growth through continuous development conversations and employee development plans.
✔️ Seeking more feedback—Solicit updated feedback and check in with their onboarding buddy.
✔️ Recognizing their contribution—Motivate and encourage them by recognizing their progress.
➡️ Is your company growing at the speed of light? Check out our onboarding plans for training supervisors and product managers.
After 90 days
Take the opportunity to review your organization's onboarding process:
✔️ Seek feedback through an onboarding survey.
✔️ Monitor onboarding metrics.
✔️ Conduct job satisfaction surveys (or remote work surveys for remote employees).
✔️ Get your new change management specialist involved in reviewing and potentially updating your organization's onboarding process. This is, after all, a change management project in itself.
➡️ If you need more templates, we've got you covered. Check out these practical onboarding templates for a consistent and meaningful onboarding experience.
👀 What does an effective change management specialist onboarding process look like?
To understand what makes an onboarding process effective, consider the 4 phases of onboarding and how they relate to your new change management specialist.
Your preboarding should cover paperwork, access rights, documentation, and welcome messages.
Be sure to include access to change management systems, project planning tools, employee survey software, and information about your organization's change management framework.
The orientation phase is about welcoming your new hire through meet-and-greets, office or virtual walk-arounds, and an introduction to your company's culture.
Change management specialists should also meet relevant stakeholders to change management programs, including HR, L&D, communications teams, IT, operations, and risk management.
Getting to know key leaders who are (or have been) sponsors of significant change is also beneficial.
Plus, promote stronger engagement by setting up meetup rituals with colleagues to foster meaningful relationships through Conversations That Matter, i.e., go beyond the small talk.
3. Role-specific training
Role-specific training focuses on activities, responsibilities, and training that are specific to change management:
- Establish role clarity by defining clear expectations and deliverables, e.g., assess change impacts, lead change initiatives, monitor metrics, and manage key stakeholder relationships through change
- Outline your organization's change management framework
- Provide role-specific training, e.g., Six Sigma, PMI, or PROSCI
4. Ongoing development
As a longer-term phase of onboarding, support career growth and development opportunities by:
- Promoting personal goals
- Conducting competency assessments
- Providing ongoing skills training
➡️ Don't forget about engaging your new hires. Here are 11 ways to engage your new employees from day one.
➡️ Automate your change management specialist onboarding with Zavvy
Onboarding is a comprehensive and involved process.
You need a consistent, repeatable, and seamless approach to do it well. Automating employee onboarding is the best way to achieve this.
At Zavvy, we know how to bring out the best in your new hires through efficient, seamless, and automated onboarding.
➡️ See how Zavvy automates training on change leadership, for instance, through innovative software and cutting-edge learning techniques.
Engage your new change management specialists with efficient onboarding, a preboarding welcome, and comprehensive, automated onboarding software.
Book a free demo to see how our automated onboarding tools will take your change management specialists to the next level.