Our clients often face change brought on by growth, outdated technology, increased customer expectations, and ever-evolving business and legislative environments. From the implementation of a new benefit administration system to the adoption of redesigned business processes, we provide the tools and methods to help organizations tackle their most ambitious projects and build new capabilities. Linea creates customized readiness strategies that address the people, operational, and technical elements of change to foster an effective business transformation. Our change management services help build an organization’s capabilities and operational readiness to respond to new demands. We collaborate with our clients to implement new policies, processes, and training to help organizations not just adapt, but succeed.
The goal of Organizational Readiness is to transition the organization from the current state to the future state in such a way as to achieve the full benefits of the change. We begin with a readiness assessment, which can include culture and history, employee, sponsor, and other organizational change factors. This assessment provides insights into the challenges and opportunities that an organization will face during the transition phases for each project. Based on the assessment, we create a customized readiness strategy and framework to fit the organization’s needs. Strategies and plans may include communication, coaching and manager training, employee training and development, resistance management, data collection, feedback analysis, corrective action, and recognizing success.
During project execution, the activities focus on readying the future operating environment and preparing staff for the changes. We will also assist the organization in measuring and reporting on change management effectiveness. During the post-implementation and stabilization period, Linea will assist in activities to reinforce the change so that the new processes and mechanisms stay in place.
Employer readiness addresses the activities required to prepare employers for changes resulting from a Pension Administration System implementation or other large-scale technology or process improvement initiative. The focus is on managing communication to and from employers, proactively managing resistance to the changes and ensuring employers are trained in the new technology and processes. Linea will conduct an assessment to determine the focus of readiness activities and the metrics to be used to determine successful transition.
We will develop plans to address employer communication, training, support and other target areas, then assist the organization in executing those plans with employers. These plans will include tactics for managing risk and, depending on the number of employers and the size of the change, may include specific activities for groups of employers. Employer readiness activities address all phases of the project and focus on ensuring employers are ready and able to fully adopt the changes.
Some staff members are reluctant to embrace large-scale organizational changes. Other staff members have not been given information about the project and are unsure about the goals of the project or their role in the future state. Staff fears and concerns impact projects; they reduce the effectiveness of process improvement and of system adoption. Linea employs a set of tasks specifically tailored to improve staff’s perception of the project and attitude toward the new system. These activities include on-going staff interviews and surveys to understand staff perspective on the project and their concerns surrounding their own position in the organization.
Based on the results of these surveys, we develop plans to educate staff members on the project goals and the improvements that will be delivered, in addition to providing opportunities for employee engagement and managing resistance. These plans always include suggestions for staff recognition and engagement events. Where possible, we assure staff of their continuing role in the organization and emphasize new opportunities for career development. We also perform skills assessments to determine where the skills gaps are and assist with planning training programs to mitigate these gaps.
To ensure the new system is supported after the project is completed, significant preparation is required. Linea assists clients with this preparation – we refer to this subproject as technical readiness. Specifically, we work with IT staff and the administration system vendor to create a future support model, including the roles that will be required, staffing levels for each role, and technical skills needed. We assist with determining which roles should be fulfilled by the vendor versus internal IT.
Included in this analysis is the decision on where and how to host the application, to outsource the platform infrastructure to a third party or utilize the vendor for this service. We ensure the vendor has created sufficient technical training materials and has a robust technical training program. If internal IT does not have the required skill set, we assist in suggesting training programs or assist with recruitment of additional staff members.
Linea understands it is critical for the employees of an organization to be properly prepared and trained on new processes and system functions. An effective training program ensures staff is ready to do the work and helps boost employee morale. This, in turn, can drive increased productivity and reduce turnover. Employees who receive training that is designed to help them in their jobs and to meet professional goals tend to feel more valued. The training from software vendors is focused on screens and how the system works, but it rarely includes training on the processes to actually complete the work the system supports. Linea training goes beyond individual screens and application usage and focuses on the activities people need to do their jobs in the changed environment. We have a number of training experts who can build training strategies and plans, create curriculum, set up the training environment and database, and deliver the training as needed. We can also work with organizations to build their own training programs and develop the skills of their trainers.