Looking for employee training content for your team? Browse the topics and courses available in The BizLibrary Collection, our award-winning content library for organizational learning & development!

How Change Affects Business

Change is an inevitable part of business, but it doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. In the short-term, effects of change can be painful and hard to adapt to, but it can have a positive impact on success in the long run.

The intent of organizational change management is to lessen negative reactions of any general changes in a business. Whether it’s employees learning a new skill, restructuring hierarchy and responsibilities, or rolling out new software, change management involves a top-down approach.

By managing change, businesses can maintain a constant state of growth that allows workers to stay motivated and productive during the transition phase. But there’s a distinct difference between managing and leading change.

By leading change, leaders showcase and model behaviors they want to see in their employees. While change can be a turbulent or uncertain time for many, having someone to look to can be comforting to employees as they worry about their jobs, skills, and role in the company.

When leaders are great at handling change, they’re able to cultivate a culture that promotes innovation. If everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas, some great innovations can develop to help business growth. One small idea can spark a huge success for the business.

Adapting can help a business keep up with new industry trends. Doing so can help attract new customers as well as keep current customers. If your competitor develops a new, innovative product or software, developing something similar can only help you reach new and retain current clients.

And changes don’t always have to be sweeping. Simple alterations to processes can help make your business more efficient. From a new point of sale to a hybrid working solution to computerized payroll, these changes can help make jobs easier to complete while making things run more smoothly.

Types of Change

There are myriad changes that can occur in an organization. Here are 5 types of change you could encounter in your business.

Organization-Wide Change
Organization-wide change is on a company-wide level. Every employee is going to be affected by this change from CEO to entry-level. This type of changes could include restructuring the organization, initiating a policy change, or rolling out a new email system. Leaders and managers should meet one-on-one with employees to review the change and see how it affects them.

Personnel Change
When a company either goes on a hiring binge or begins to lay off employees, these are examples of personnel change. Both can have a serious effect on employee morale and productivity. Naturally, many employees fear layoffs or furloughs, and anxiety can skyrocket. This would be a great time for leaders and managers to step in, talk to employees, and hear their concerns to help alleviate the feelings employees have.

Transformational Change
Transformational change relates to changes within a company’s organizational strategy. When you’re suited to withstand rapid changes, you can be more adaptable when the time comes. When looking at this type of change, it is important to consider current innovations, recent culture trends, and what the social climate is like in your area. Managers and leaders should be aware of these topics and address what’s happening with employees.

Remedial Change
Remedial change occurs when a company reacts to poor performance or a deficiency of some kind. These types of changes include new equipment or software, opening a new job to close a gap, and creating a new training and onboarding program. Managers and leaders should be ready to provide coaching and training if there are new implementations or mentorship if there are new hires.

Unplanned Change
This is perhaps the most stressful change that can occur – when the unexpected happens. You can plan for hirings and firings. You can roll out new initiatives after lengthy discussion. But when blindsided by a scandal, for example, chaos can explode through the organization. Leaders and managers need to have strong communication skills and be open and transparent throughout the process.

Skills Needed to Lead Change

There are three skills deemed necessary by researchers to connect people to the process of change, and to do it well. They are the three Cs of effective change leadership.


Unsuccessful leaders often focus on the “what” behind change while more successful leaders focus more on the “why” and communicate both to their employees.  Explaining the purpose of any change helps employees connect it to the big picture and see the benefits in the long run.


Bringing people together to plan and execute change is crucial. Successful leaders work cross functionally and encourage their employees to break out of their box. By including employees in decision making early on, leaders strengthen their and the employees’ commitment to change. Unsuccessful change leaders often don’t include employees early on.


Successful leaders buy into the change, and their beliefs and behaviors reflect that. They are often resilient, persistent, and willing to work outside their comfort zone. Unsuccessful leaders fail to adapt to challenges, express negativity, and are impatient with a lack of results.

Training Successful Change Leaders

Any change, whether large or small, will affect the people, processes, and culture of your organization. The best chance of success during times of change is to have everyone from the C-suite to the supervisors dedicated to working toward the desired result.

There are five things you can train your change leaders on to shift the thoughts employees have and work toward success.

1. Deliver Clarity

Change leaders are aware of the current situation employees are going through and will share the intended goals, possible outcomes, and benefits associated with the change. This clarity will help employees see how the change will affect them in both the short and long term and the goals associated with each. People make the change happen, so their feelings on it matter.

2. Set Expectations

A change leader needs to get employee buy-in, so it’s essential that they define and set clear expectations. They can eliminate the what-ifs and worst-case scenarios that bog down employees and give them the clarity they need.

3. Communicate Openly

Communication is a powerful tool and change leaders know how to optimize it. They deliver news and information in a timely way and ensure that everyone understands it. These leaders should encourage honest communication throughout the entire process to hear employee concerns and feedback.

4. Manage Priorities

Change leaders are invested in the outcome, so they identify current and new priorities and how the two fit together. Keeping an eye on the big picture allows them to be able to shift priorities as needed to reach the desired outcome.

5. Sustain Energy

Change usually doesn’t just happen overnight. There is buildup and execution. Change leaders are the cheerleaders and in charge of motivating employees by celebrating successes and creating milestones.

Why Online Training Works for Learning How to Lead in Times of Change

Being a leader during times of change is crucial to keeping employees engaged.

BizLibrary curates a large and diverse video training library with numerous courses focused on developing the skills needed to lead during times of change.

Explore more
of our leadership
skills topics.


Online training is quickly becoming the best way to teach employees some of the skills they need to do their jobs. Numerous studies have shown that online training is often more effective, and learners retain more information than with classroom training alone.

Our micro video format breaks content up into smaller, more manageable chunks, making it easier for employees to learn and apply these skills on the job. These online courses can be viewed on an individual basis – where an employee learns by themselves at work or at home – or as part of a group training environment or discussion.

Help your leaders and managers be excellent change leaders as well.  Talk with an expert to learn how our online learning solutions can transform training in your organization.

Learn how
BizLibrary’s online
learning solutions can
transform training in
your organization.