Training Programs

Using Your Training Program to Navigate Change

Most people develop an organizational training program because they want to create change – perhaps they want a safer workforce, higher sales numbers, or maybe they want to change their turnover rate.

Regardless of the objective, many training professionals understand that learning and development is a catalyst for positive change within an organization.

This proactive approach is great, but change isn’t always something you create – sometimes change happens to you.

Consider the “disruptive” companies that have popped up in recent years – Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, and more have transformed entire industries.

That’s great for those companies, but for their competitors, massive, fundamental change in business practices had to occur.

Often, the biggest changes don’t happen because of external forces, but because of forces within a company. One of the most disruptive forces of internal change comes during mergers and acquisitions, but there’s no shortage of situations that cause massive changes to organizations.

This can leave your training program in an awkward state – when massive disruptions occur, your training program can seem like an afterthought – maybe new leadership doesn’t see the value in employee training (if that’s the case, read this article!), or maybe changes need to occur so quickly that managers tell you they don’t have time for training.

When your organization is overwhelmed by change and uncertainty, guess what… your training program is a perfect system to navigate change!

Here are a few easy ways to use your training program to help your organization transform when change happens to you!

New Processes? No Problem!

One of the easiest ways you can make a business case for your training program is to quickly get your employees up to speed when it comes to new processes.

If you’re going through a merger, you can be sure that you’ll have employees who don’t quite understand the way you get things done, and why they should do it that way.

An easy way to score points with new leadership or to build momentum in your training program is to simply get those people ready for the change in their day-to-day tasks.

Make Managers Agents of Change

So much of business transformation falls on the shoulders of your leadership – they are the captains, helping your organization navigate the seas of change.

However, change management is a skill for leaders in the same way as something like delegation. Unlike delegation, however, change management is often an underdeveloped skill.

That said, your training program can come through in the clutch by delivering important change management content. Bolstered by strong communication, your managers can become major assets as you undergo changing circumstances.

Close Skill Gaps

When a merger or acquisition occurs, there is often an influx of new talent. Two companies with two distinct cultures and values become one.

Employees’ roles may be similar, but they’re almost never identical. This is a great opportunity for your training program to close skill gaps and upskill employees.

If you’re responsible for training new employees who have joined your organization as part of a merger or acquisition, there will be new competencies that those new employees will have to master.

Fortunately, your training program is great at handling those skill gaps!


Here are more “gimme points” for your training program. When change really takes over an organization, it’s often valuable to host onboarding – even for veteran employees.

To learn more about onboarding, check out our free guide to accelerating onboarding success!

Whether you’re welcoming new employees as the result of a merger or acquisition, or bringing your employees up to speed on their new roles, creating an onboarding experience will build value in your training program and help your company win through change.

Change management is difficult, and if you can make it marginally easier, your organization will be grateful. If your training program isn’t equipped to handle change well, now’s a great time to start improving your processes and strategies!

To learn more ways that training can help your business handle change well and increase organizational agility, check out this article:

Training & Development Industry Researcher | Derek researches, discusses, and writes about the impacts of employee learning on organizations and individuals. He regularly interviews L&D and HR professionals, sharing their insight on trends and best practices that help organizations create stronger training programs, and help to grow their employees and their business.