Change champions assist organizations undergoing a change process. They help ensure that the change implementation is successful and that employees are on board with it.
It is hard to implement and sustain organizational transformation. Whether it’s a new software system, a change in company culture, or something else, there is always resistance to change. Change managers alone cannot cope with all the challenges associated with organizational change. It is where change champions come in.
This article discusses the change champion role and how they help your organization. So, let’s jump into this article.
What does a Change Champion Do?
Learning about the role of a change champion is vital for understanding how they help during organizational changes. It is also vital for employers to choose the right candidate for a champion post. Here are some of the key responsibilities of a change champion:
1. Understanding the Change
Change management is a complex process. Change champions must first understand it themselves to implement a change. They must grasp the goals of the change and what is required of employees. Understanding the change and the need for changes is crucial as they can’t convince others if they are not aware of the change procedure.
2. Creating Change Management Strategies
Creating strategies for change management is a challenging task for any organization as they help align change efforts with the organizational goals. To carry out this task, the change management team works with employees and understands their needs. A change champion plays a significant role in creating these strategies.
Change champions work with senior managers to develop these strategies. They use their knowledge and experience to create successful strategies. Moreover, they work with employees to ensure that the strategies are achievable and meet their needs.
3. Communicating the Change
Communicating a change to employees is challenging as most are resistant to any change. Change managers inform employees about the change with enough information for them to understand it. They find this balance to keep employees in the loop without feeling overwhelmed.
Change champions communicate all the details to get employees on board with the change. Without effective communication, the change will fail. Change champions explain the change and its benefits in an easy way for them to understand. They also help employees see how the change will impact their work. It involves creating materials that explain the steps of implementing change and its objectives.
They also hold meetings with employees to discuss the change and answer any questions. This way, change champions gain employees’ trust and gain their buy-in for the change.
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4. Training Employees
Training is an essential step in the change implementation process as it ensures that employees continue performing their duties without any hindrance during and after the change. Change champions train employees on the new procedures and systems. They also provide support during the training so that employees get clarification when needed.
Change champions act as a mentor for employees during the training process. They guide them and provide support to employees. After the training is complete, change champions check in with employees to ensure they are comfortable with the change and understand how to implement it. They are familiar with the various tools and resources available and support employees during the change process.
5. Act as a Role Model
When an organization undergoes a change process, its employees need someone they can look up to. Change champions act as role models for employees during the change process. They show employees the method to adapt to change and become more productive.
Change champions lead by example and help employees see that change is possible. Leading by example motivates employees and encourages them to embrace change.
6. Monitoring Progress
Change champions monitor the progress to ensure that the change process is on the right track. They supervise the change implementation process and identify any areas that need improvement. Moreover, they provide feedback to employees on their progress.
This feedback motivates employees and keeps them on track. Change champions also use this information to improve the change process. By monitoring progress, change champions ensure that the business transformation is successful.
7. Identifying Problems
Problems come in a change implementation process. No matter how well-planned the change is, unforeseen obstacles will always strike. Change champions play an important role in identifying those problems. It helps to prevent problems from occurring and causing further disruption. They also work with employees to find solutions to these problems.
8. Resolving Issues in Change Process
When problems occur during a change process, the need for someone to work and resolve them becomes vital. Change champions play a key role in resolving these issues. They work with senior change managers to find solutions to problems.
Change champions also liaise with other departments to ensure that the change process remains on track. They resolve any issues so that the change process can continue in a smooth way.
9. Building a Strong Network
A strong network is vital for the success of any change process. A change champion networks with employees, senior leaders, and other stakeholders. Change champions use their network to ensure that the change process is successful. They work with all stakeholders to onboard everyone with the change.
A strong network also ensures that change champions have the resources to carry out their duties. Change champions access that information and resources to make decisions.
Requirements for Change Champions
If you want to pursue a career as a change champion, you must know the requirements for the job. Here are some of the common requirements for change champions:
1. Supportive to New Ideas
Change champions must support new ideas. As a change champion, you must exhibit skills to welcome change and the willingness to embrace it. Change champions must hold the potential to embrace new ideas and support them. If you are not flexible, you cannot handle change. You must see the change from the employees’ perspective and understand their needs.
2. Excellent Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills are key to excelling in change champion roles. Change champions communicate with employees to build strong relationships with them. They explain the change process and its benefits to employees. You, a change manager, must listen to their concerns and address them. Change champions are responsible to resolve conflicts and build consensus.
To become a successful change champion, understand the change process in depth. Identify the different stages of change and communicate them to employees.
3. Leadership Skills
Change champions act as change masters who convince other employees to support the change. To do this, you need strong leadership skills. For improving leadership skills, work to inspire others and motivate them. You must delegate tasks and give clear instructions.
The change champion role is a decisive position and they must take ownership of the change process. Change champions are responsible to make tough decisions and stand by them. They must exhibit skills to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
4. Effective Project Management Skills
Project management helps you understand the various steps of a project and its objective. It also enables you to create a roadmap for the project, which you can use to track its progress.
Project management skills are vital for change agents as it helps them identify various tasks involved in a change project. This way, they create a timeline for the project and track its progress. Change champions must exhibit the ability to plan and execute change projects.
5. Problem-Solving Capability
When dealing with a change process, conflicts and problems arise. They can disrupt the progress of a project and cause delays. As a change champion, you identify these problems and find solutions for them. Change champions troubleshoot issues that may arise during the change process. They also come up with creative solutions to problems.
A change agent that has the competency to solve problems in a shorter duration is precious to an organization. They save time and resources for the company and make the workplace more productive.
6. Qualifications of a Change Champion
There are no specific qualifications to become a change champion. However, it is helpful if you have a degree in business administration or human resource management. Certificates from reputable institutes make you an attractive candidate. Certifications add to the credibility of a change champion and show that you have the required skills for the job.
Changer champions need extensive management and people-handling skills to fulfill their change management duties. If you’re looking to become one, master the fundamental change management skills. Upskill your knowledge and keep yourself up-to-date with the latest change management market techniques and trends.
Here is a list of the most asked questions about a change champion role:
What does it mean to be a change champion?
A change champion is someone who is supportive of new ideas and willing to embrace change. They act as change agents and have to convince other employees to support the change. They resolve conflicts and create harmony in the workplace. Change champions exhibit a deep understanding of the change process and familiarity with the different tools and resources available to support employees during the change process.
How do you identify change champions?
To identify a change champion, look for someone who is supportive of new ideas and willing to embrace change. A person with strong interpersonal skills and change knowledge is a good candidate. They must exhibit relationships and trust-building skills. It is helpful if one is familiar with the different tools and resources available to support employees during the change process.
What is a champion in the workplace?
A champion in the workplace is an agent of change who helps to convince other employees to support the change. They are the employees that show excellent performance and have the competency to engage with others to bring about change. They exhibit strong leadership skills and can inspire and motivate others. They reflect skills to take ownership of the change process and become decisive.
Who is an example of a change agent?
An example of a change agent is an employee who is supportive of new ideas and helps implement business transformation. They act as change agents and convince other employees to support the change. They work with other employees and have excellent interpersonal skills. They are also able to handle disputes and manage difficult circumstances.
Another example of a change agent is an employee familiar with the new technology and tools available to support employees during the change process. They provide training and support to employees struggling to embrace change.
How do you motivate change champions?
One way to encourage employees is to provide them with the training and resources they need to succeed. Another way to motivate them is to give them a sense of ownership over the change process. It will ensure that they invest in the success of the change. Motivate them by giving them a sense of purpose. It will help them see the importance of their role in the change process.
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