As mentioned in the first post of this two-part series, technology can be used as an effective enabler of a Cultural Change Management Program. Last week, we presented the first three steps that retailers need to take for successful Cultural Change Management. We discussed the goals of a Business Impact Analysis and the importance of a visioning and business process review session (Change Management Assessment). The third step, the Change Management Strategy defines how the program should be implemented and the anticipated benefits.

Today’s post will focus on the final three steps:
• Program Design
• Execution and Training
• Monitoring and Review

Program Design

The goal of the Program Design is to assist the retailer in designing very specific programs to be used in supporting an in-store technology initiative from the communication, training and monitoring perspectives. Program design may include such things as naming the initiative, identifying the appropriate mission statement, developing key messages and media to be used, as well as a host of other material preparation. It should always include Training Program design, Communication Design, and Monitoring / KPI Report and Dashboard Design.

Execution and Training

Execution of the designed program is the most critical element of any program. Even the best tools and best intentions may be undermined by poor execution. While much of the focus of in-store execution revolves around Training, it is important to recognize that this training should be provided not only to the in-store associate, but also to store management, regional management, and corporate management as it pertains to the tools, key messages and process that will assure success.

Phases and methods of training are also critical to a successful implementation. Training may often come in phases, with pre go-live training as well as phase 2 follow-up sessions. Training methods may include CBT, Train the Trainer, Classroom training, WebEx training, etc.

Monitoring and Review

As discussed above, the end goal of any initiative is change results. Monitoring results of your program helps to accomplish two main and critical goals – 1) compliance and adherence to desired activities, and 2) success of lack of success of specific directives. Monitoring is not just intended to provide a pass/fail grade to an associate or even the program, but is intended to provide the visibility required to make course corrections if needed.

Retailers are looking for ways to stand out in a very competitive landscape. With the disproportionate number of sales in retail happening inside the four walls of the store, it is critical that retailers get the most of the in-store experience, and the greatest value from the asset that is the store associate. Managing this process can be difficult, however, and in-store initiatives have often been less successful than planned.

While technology provides the tools to enable more effective programs, implementing technology for the sake of technology is not sufficient. Instead, retailers must take the time to develop an overarching strategy that will ensure success, and to manage the process to guarantee long-term results. This can be accomplished by analyzing the anticipated business impact, assessing the current capabilities and anticipated changes required, developing an overall strategy to communicate, train and monitor the program, effectively execute the program throughout, and by monitoring and reviewing the results to assess the outcome and make minor course changes when needed.