Essential Change Manager Skills

Looking to know change manager skills? You’re at the right place.

Success lies in evolution. However, is hard to manage a changing workplace and ensure successful outcomes without the assistance of a change manager.

Change managers are the unsung heroes of organizational success, as they help ensure employee adaption to new situations and procedures in an effective way. The role of a change manager is to focus on governing and implementing changes within an organization.

They work with senior management to assess the required changes, develop a plan to make those changes, and then communicate the plan to employees. Change managers work with employees during and after the change has been made. This way they ensure everyone understands and complies with the new procedures.

To implement a change and accomplish various other tasks, you need change management skills. This article lists the essential skills a change manager must hold.

If you’re interested in learning more via video, then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.

Change Manager Skills 2024

A change manager overlooks and supervises major changes happening throughout the organization. Here are fundamental change management skills you must know:

1. Technical Skills

Change management is a complex process that requires effective coordination of all business transformation projects. A change manager must have strong technical skills to understand the complexities of a change and develop a plan that addresses them.

Though technical skills vary depending on the industry, here are a few fundamental technical skills:

Project Management

A change manager plans, manages, and executes a project from start to finish. Projects are complex, with many moving parts and stakeholders. A change manager keeps track of all of these elements and ensures they move in the right direction.

Knowledge of Project Management Software

Change managers use project management software to plan and track changes. There are many different types of project management software like Jira, FreshService, WhatFix, and ChangeGear, however, it is mandatory to master the one that your organization prefers to use.

Change Models and Frameworks

Various change models and frameworks exist to help change managers plan and execute the change. Familiarity with these models and frameworks allows a change manager to choose the most appropriate one for any situation.

2. Communication Skills

In addition to technical skills, you must hold strong communication skills. A major part of a change manager’s job is communicating with employees and other stakeholders about changes.

Change is disruptive and causes anxiety, so you must communicate the purpose of a change and its impact on employees. Lack of proper communication leads to employee resistance to change, which results in the failure of a change initiative.

Here are the types of communication skills for you to master and excel in change management:

Writing Skills

Change managers must exhibit the skills to write in a clear and concise way. It includes writing emails, memos, and reports. Excellent written skills are mandatory for change managers to distill complex information into easy-to-understand language for employees.

Verbal Communication Skills

Verbal communication is essential for explaining changes to employees and getting them on board with business transformation. You must deliver presentations on changes, hold meetings with stakeholders and answer questions from employees.

Active Listening Skills

You need active listening skills to address a change management process. Active listening skills mean giving your full attention to the speaker, making eye contact, and not interrupting. You can’t communicate if you don’t listen to others.

Requirements to Become a Change Manager

Employees indeed have questions and concerns about the change, and it is the responsibility of a change manager to listen to them and address their concerns. By practicing active listening, you show employees that you care about their problems and are open to hearing their issues.

3. Leadership Skills

Addressing a change management process is hard without a solid grip on leadership skills. After all, you lead the charge in implementing changes in the company. You also motivate employees, set goals, and keep everyone on track. Change managers manage conflicts and build consensus. Know that the change is disruptive and leads to conflict, so you must hold excellent management skills.

Here are skills to improve your leadership competencies and style:

Decision-Making Skills

Making the right decision at the right time is crucial for success in change management. Change managers assess a situation, weigh the pros and cons, and make the right decision for the company. You can improve your decision-making skills by practicing making quick decisions under pressure. It helps you develop the ability to make sound decisions timely.

Conflict Resolution Skills

Change managers resolve conflicts between employees and stakeholders. They listen to both sides of the argument and find a solution that everyone agrees on. By practicing conflict resolution skills, you become a better problem solver and more effective in managing change.

Looking to get into the human resource management field? Our top-rated human resource management certification allows you to nourish your skills and become an expert HR professional. Enroll right now to grasp the most advanced HR management knowledge:

HR Management Certification

Motivating Employees

Everyone needs motivation and inspiration to keep going despite challenges. As a change manager, you motivate employees and keep them engaged in the change process. You can do this by setting goals, providing feedback, and recognizing employees’ contributions to the change.

Change managers inspire employees and onboard them with the changes. You, as a change manager, articulate the vision for the change and how it impacts employees. You also motivate employees by setting goals, providing feedback, and recognizing their contributions to the change.


The change management process is long and drawn out. There are setbacks and challenges along the way. You must show patience and perseverance to see the change process through to the end. Patience enables you to keep going until the change is implemented.

4. Strategic Skills

A change manager develops well-planned and thoughtful strategies. Making sudden changes is not a good idea. It is best to focus on strategic thinking to see the big picture. It will help you develop creative solutions to problems and stay ahead of the competition. Change managers develop long-term plans with strategic skills for the company and align the change with the company’s goals.

Change Manager Responsibilities

To improve your strategic skills, you must hold the ability to think long-term, identify opportunities and threats, and develop creative solutions to problems. Follow these steps to develop effective change management strategies:

Strategic Planning

Whether you plan for a small change or a large-scale transformation, become in your approach. Understand the company’s goals and how the change will help you achieve them. Also, understand the resources available to you and how to use them. By planning in a strategic way, you ensure that the change is successful and meets the company’s goals.

Anticipating Problems

No change management process is without its challenges. As a change manager, you anticipate problems and develop solutions to them. You need a contingency plan in place if something goes wrong. You mitigate their impact on the company by anticipating them beforehand.

Implementation of Change

Once the change management strategy is in place, work to implement it. It involves communicating the plan to employees and key stakeholders, training employees on the new process, and monitoring the progress of the change.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Change is a continuous process. As a change manager, you monitor the progress of the change and evaluate its effectiveness. For successful change management, you must track key indicators. Gather feedback from employees and stakeholders to see how they respond to the change. Make the necessary adjustments after monitoring and evaluating the change.

5. Analytical Skills

You must exhibit strong analytical skills to effectively implement change programs. As a change manager, you gather data and analyze it to identify trends and patterns. It helps you understand how the change impacts employees and the entire organization. Use data to make informed decisions about the direction of the change.

7 R's of change management

Following are some aspects to enhance your analytical skills:

Collecting Data

Data helps change managers make the right decisions. It includes surveying employees, reviewing performance data, and analyzing social media data. You understand how the change impacts the company with the data.

Interpreting Data

Once you collect the data, analyze it and interpret the results. It involves understanding the trends and patterns in the data and drawing conclusions from them. Data interpretation allows for making informed decisions about the direction of the change.

Measuring KPIs

Identify and measure key performance indicators to track the progress of the change. It includes metrics such as employee satisfaction, productivity, and customer satisfaction. KPI measurement allows you to identify areas where the change has a positive impact and areas that need improvement.

Data Analysis

Once you collect and interpret the data, perform data analysis. It involves piercing the data together to identify relationships and trends. Data analysis allows a deeper understanding of how the change impacts the company.

Analytical Tools

Today, change managers employ advanced tools and software to help them in their work. You must become adept at using these tools to get the most accurate data. Some of the most popular change management tools include Whatfix, StarTeam, ChangeGear Change Manager, Process Maps, Force Field Analysis, and Stakeholder Analysis.

6. Organization Skills

The success of change initiatives depends on the effective organization of various tasks and resources. Change managers exhibit skills in organizing people and resources. It includes developing project plans, creating timelines, and assigning tasks to team members. Successful management of a change process ensures successful implementation of the change. Here’s how to enhance your organizational skills:

Create a Timeline

One of the best ways to organize your work is to create a timeline. It helps you track the progress of the change and identify any potential delays. Timelines ensure that the change is implemented on time and within budget.

Change management principles

Set Priorities

Setting priorities involves identifying the most important tasks and focusing on them. Establishing priorities helps you achieve the desired outcomes of the change.

Allocate Resources

Allocate resources to implement a change management process. It includes both financial and human resources. Resources allocation ensures effective business transformation.


Change managers supervise and overlook a change process. They exhibit change management skills for leaders to ensure effective business transformation. They make other employees comfortable with change and help them settle in a transformed workplace. Master the above-mentioned skills to become a professional change manager.


Here are answers to some of the most asked questions regarding change management:

What skills do you need for change management?

To lead change management activities within an organization, you need several skills. Here are a few of them:

  • Excellent communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Strong change management skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Strong command over change management methodologies
  • Understanding of organizational dynamics
  • Analytical and statistical skills

How to develop change management skills?

The job of a change manager is quite challenging and demanding. If a change manager wants to have a successful career in change management, they must possess certain traits. The most vital trait for a change manager is an adaptation to changing situations.

You must hold good problem-solving skills, communication, interpersonal skills, and change management skills. The change managers work with people from different backgrounds. They analyze various business processes and understand the impacts of change before implementing them. Hence, excellent collaboration and coordination skills are mandatory to become a change manager.

What is a change management skill?

A change management skill is the ability to manage changes for business growth and to minimize disruption. It includes planning and managing organizational structures, processes, and people changes. Change management skills are essential to handle an organization undergoing change, whether a small company implementing change or a large corporation relocating its operations. Effective change management skills help an organization transition to a new state and avoid expensive mistakes.

If you are new to human resources and are looking to break into a change manager’s role, we recommend taking our HR Management Course, where you will learn how to build your skill set in change management, build your human resources network, craft a great change manager resume, and create a successful change manager job search strategy.

Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.