How to become a Change Manager in Australia
A Change Manager is responsible for facilitating the smooth transition of a business from one state of operation to another. This can include the adoption of new technology, a shift in business culture, relocation, restructuring and other aspects of operation that significantly alter how a company functions. Change Managers draw on many different disciplines to ensure minimal operational disruptions during times of transition, from engineering and system development to psychology and behavioural science. They focus primarily on the impact that significant change has on people throughout an organisation.
There are many different approaches to change management but the basic principle involves convincing employees and management to embrace new behavioural models or ‘buy-in’ to a new way of doing things. This involves guidance and communication regarding the reasons behind a change, adequate training and incentives and monitoring and reporting on the progress and effect of the reform.
If you want to put your organisational, communication and management skills to work helping organisations update their systems and adopt new strategies, here are a few steps you should take to become a Change Manager.
Step 1: Gain skills in project management.
The first, and possibly most important skill you will need to acquire on your path to becoming a Change Manager is project management. This will enable you to competently and efficiently chart, monitor, guide and report on the steps involved in coordinating a large-scale endeavour involving multiple parties and stages. There are a number of study pathways available to learn project management so contact various providers to determine which approach will suit you.
Step 2: Complete a course in business, IT or psychology.
Now that you are a master of project management, you will need to decide what kind of change management you are most interested in. Change Managers are employed in many different industries and the desired qualifications will vary from one to another. Some of the most important skills you might require will involve knowledge of business and management, information technology or basic psychology, so choose the path that interests you the most and enrol in either an advanced diploma or bachelor programme to hone your skills.
Step 3: Study the specifics of change management.
The next step is to complete a course devoted to the specifics of change management. This will provide you with many key skills and methodologies that are essential to this profession, including impact and cost-benefit analysis, understanding the psychology of change and managing peoples’ resistance to change. You will also learn a number of different change management models and how to apply them in various situations, how to monitor progress and apply corrective actions and how to evaluate the success of implemented changes.
Step 4: Apply for jobs and gain experience.
Now it’s time to find some work! Build your resume, research the companies that you would like to work for, either change management firms or companies that employ an internal change management team, tailor cover letters to each and start applying! It is also recommended that you sign up and create a profile on Linkedin as it has become a widely used networking tool in the business world and will not only expose you to more job opportunities but will also help you build a network of professionals that you can connect with and ask for advice.
What does a Change Manager do?
Change Managers are in charge of minimising the impact that a major adjustment or transition within a business will have on its employees and productivity. The changes they oversee can include anything from the introduction of new technology or procedures, a change of location, adjustments to the vision statement or culture and other major alterations to the way a business operates.
The Change Manager will map out a plan for the transition, detailing key areas for improvement and identifying potential problems. Then they will work to ensure that all personnel understand the reasons for the changes being implemented and outline the benefits. Their key task revolves around engaging people and creating excitement rather than apprehension. Change Managers develop and provide tools and strategies to monitor and assess the progress and results associated with the transformation and also help to ensure that the new operational state remains stable after the project has been completed.
- Developing plans and strategies to enact change.
- Identifying and outlining key steps and potential problems.
- Project managing the change process.
- Creating excitement and anticipation among employees and management.
- Enacting training and information sessions to support new procedures and technology.
- Monitoring and assessing progress and results of transition.
- Implementing frameworks to ensure long-term adoption of change.
Skills for Success
A successful Change Manager is an expert in project management with great organisational and planning skills. They need to be master communicators who can inspire and encourage others to share their enthusiasm for change. Change Managers need to be passionate and dedicated, excellent problem solvers and possess a high-level of attention to detail. They need to have a reasonable grasp on the psychology of change and how it can impact every level of an organisation as well as a solid grounding in business management.
- Dedication and passion.
- Great organisational and planning skills.
- Excellent problem solving abilities.
- Project management expertise.
- High-level attention to detail.
- Motivating and inspirational.
- Next level communication skills.
What do Change Managers earn in Australia? Change Managers in Australia earn an average of around $113,000per year. This varies depending on experience and additional qualifications and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 03/18