May 24, 2023

Creating a conducive environment for talent is the core of business success in a post-pandemic/VUCA world. People that grow across levels within the organization build high-potential businesses. Investing in the right people, developing them, and enabling their consistent growth within the organization is the best way to ensure success.
An excerpt from an article in the March–April 2020 issue of Harvard Business Review suggests the same.

‘Leaders who come from within the firm, it's assumed, already know the organization, its strategy, and its management, so they should adjust quickly to their new roles. The promotion is often the culmination of years—maybe decades—of hard work.’

In short, role transition training will be critical in a post-pandemic/VUCA world to ensure that your company has a workforce capable of adapting to the changing organizational needs, setting the highest standards, and meeting those standards consistently.

Making Role Transitions a Competitive Advantage

With changing demands from customers, investors and employees, companies constantly need to reinvent themselves. While companies can hire from outside their ecosystem whenever there is a need for new talent that supports transformation and reinvention, it is not always feasible. Thus, there is a growing need to design programs and structures that enable smooth and successful role transitions. People within the organization’s ecosystem with the right attitude and aptitude can support faster organizational transformations. Companies that can tap into their best by making role transitions a USP have a massive advantage over competitors.

‘A 2019 Gartner organization design survey found that 55% of organizational redesigns were focused on streamlining roles, supply chains and workflows to increase efficiency. While this approach captured efficiencies, it also created fragilities, as systems have no flexibility to respond to disruptions. Resilient organizations were better able to respond — correct course quickly with change.’

Why do many Role transitions fail?

The significant challenge related to role transitions at an organizational level is building systems and processes that help employees upgrade their technical, business, and behavioral skills in line with the role transition.

Additionally, the millennial workforce makes up the largest generation in the workplace in many organizations. These millennials are reaching management positions earlier than ever before, but they struggle to adapt to new working environments as they grow because of limitations in their behavioral skills.

How to view Role Transitions - Easing capability transition across levels

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for successful role transitions. Instead, the best way to ensure success is to view role transitions as a HiPo program. All nurturing & customizations based on the individual and role in HiPo programs need to be enabled for role transitions too. Learning systems need to be created to build capabilities as per the transition.

Critical success factors of role transition training

With capability building as a cornerstone for successful role transitions, it is vital that organizations have a Learning Strategy for role transitions that is aligned to the overall business strategy. This, when combined with the following steps, can help organizations make role transitions their USP.

01. Competency Identification

Identifying the right competencies that are required in the new role is the first step. Most often, companies do not spend time and effort beyond creating a Job Description for roles. Even if the job titles are old, periodic evaluation of the capabilities required for the position is essential to align it with the changing market, business, and organizational needs.

02. Assessment

Companies need to build assessment systems to identify gaps in technical, functional, and behavioral competencies (derived as per Step 1) of employees onboarded into the new role.

03. Journey Based Learning Modules

Comprehensive journey-based learning modules to address the identified gap areas need to be designed. These modules will help the employees to adapt to the new role and contribute positively to the organization faster

Sample Journey

04. Experiential Learning

The learning modules are most effective when experiential. When it comes to handling new responsibilities, the best way to learn is on the job. The fastest way to implement on-the-job learning is through experiential learning models like simulations.

05. Learner Centricity

Additionally, the modules should be learner-centric, providing them the freedom to learn any time, anywhere. Bite-sized Learning & Digital/Mobile based Learning ensure this learner centricity along with helping employees build capabilities without compromising on their day-to-day role-related responsibilities


In the post-pandemic VUC world, it's essential to create a strategy and process for transitioning your workforce while still striving to maintain engagement and commitment. Focusing on capability development is key in sustaining high performance, especially when considering the career growth of talent who can take the organization ahead. In addition, having an expert partner to guide through the steps for capability building to enable the success of role transitions can bring better and faster results.

Reference Links

1) The Magazine - HBR
2) 9 Future of Work Trends Post-COVID-19 (
3) infographic-incoming-class-2018-ceo-success-study.pdf (
4) The Leadership Forge | Leadership Coaching and Consulting
5) Managing People from 5 Generations (
6) Young Management: How Gen Y And Millennials Will Lead (
7) mcb brochure.ashx (

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