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Over the past three years, the demand for Change Managers across Australia has been steadily on the rise. In today’s technology-led world, being able to adapt to constant change is what makes any business sustainable in the long-term. Whilst change can come about from a change in leadership or organisational structure, the most common catalyst for change has been the advent of technology. For this reason, Change Managers have become an asset to any organisation that needs help transitioning their team to a new way of working. By focusing on helping employees understand and adjust to changes in the company, Change Managers are therefore able to retain an engaged workforce, maintain or even increase their productivity.

What does the role of a Change Manager entail?

Typically, Change Managers work closely with Project Managers to ensure that the project being rolled out is achieving its targets. Organisations have also realised that the success of a project is not only based on how timely or cost effective it was. For real change to succeed, Change Managers are needed to monitor the project beyond the go-live date and ensure that the business is adopting this change from both a tech and business standpoint. In addition to facilitating organisational change, some Change Managers may also take Human Resources (HR) functions to ensure that the organisation is operationally ready.

Who can move into a Change Manager role?

Change management today has garnered more attention due to the rising need for Change Managers – rather than being due to more people entering the change function. However, many don’t realise that they are able to move into a change management role. Based on our observation, Change Managers today still come from similar backgrounds such as communications, or training and development. The reality is that applicants from other industries can also apply their transferrable skills to a change management role.

Change management is open to individuals from various backgrounds. For example, Individuals with organisational change experience or marketing specialisations can also bring their transferable skills to change management. Most Change Manager roles are contract-based with a minimum of one month and going up to 12 months depending on the duration of the project. For example, a Change Manager may work on a strategic roadmap for three months and then work on its operational functions for another six months.

How can Change Managers help in this digital age?

Many companies today are moving towards digital transformation and therefore need to have the right support in place to manage the organisation’s ability to embrace change. A survey conducted by Forbes has revealed that 85% of respondents have reported that change management is critical to the success of the business – especially during a time of technological disruption. According toProsci, companies with excellent change management are also six times more likely to reach their business goals – in comparison to competitors with poor change management.

Generally, resistance to change is due to employees’ innate fear that they will be replaced by technological advances, in addition to a change in routine and instability. To diffuse such situations, Change Managers can help make employees more open to change and build up their digital trust in technology to make better use of their potential. This is why organisations value Change Managers – especially those who are equipped with IT knowledge as they will be able to facilitate organisational change while having a clear understanding of digital intricacies. This high demand for Change Managers and the lack of availability of them in the market have subsequently put an upward pressure on salary packages.

How much are Change Managers getting paid?

It is important to note that Change Managers are costing more in recent years – especially today where they play a pivotal role in the organisation. According to Glassdoor, Change Managers in a permanent role are being paid a national average salary of $127,751 in Australia – specifically $125,855 in Melbourne as at January 2019. With 8-10 years of experience, a Change Manager in a contract role can enjoy the consistent increase in daily rates over the past two years – from $700 to anywhere between $900 and $1,000 inclusive of super. This is increasingly higher than Project Managers and Business Analysts which historically used to be higher paid positions. From a recruitment perspective, these are fantastic opportunities to try contracting if you have yet to experience the benefits of it as you will be able to maximise your earning potential. In fact, people in contracting roles often enjoy greater flexibility and gain more intangible benefits in the long run.

Why are organisations willing to pay more for a Change Manager?

The reason why Change Managers are being paid so well is because quite often – it is challenging for an organisation to find a Change Manager with both operational and strategic skills. Operational skills include training, running workshops, communication messaging and physically meeting with employees to ensure they are adapting well. Strategic skills on the other hand relates to change impact and gap analysis. In a nutshell, change impact analysis refers to the identification of potential consequences of disruption in the organisation. In comparison, gap analysis measures and assesses actual against desired performance. Most organisations prefer to spend more on one Change Manager who can do both operational and strategic functions as it is more cost-efficient than hiring two specialist Change Managers. However, it’s definitely worth noting that Change Managers who can do multiple functions will also demand a higher salary package. It is also important to realise that organisations today are still in the process of accepting and justifying the need for a Change Manager as the role in itself represents a cost and is non-revenue generating in nature and this is what is causing the discrepancy in what organisations are willing to offer and what candidates are willing to accept.

Are you looking for a Change Manager role?

Change rarely occurs without adversity and like most projects, the benefits are usually not visible in the short run. However, change can also mean sustainability – which explains why Change Managers play such a pivotal role in successful organisational transitions.

At Progressive Recruitment, we specialise in placing candidates in change management roles across Australia. If you would like to share best practices on change management or simply want to enquire about current opportunities in Melbourne, feel free to contact us or visit our LinkedIn page to learn more about what we do.