adkar change management model

Change the Game with the ADKAR Change Management Model

While change is inevitable, this complex process is often viewed through the technical lens of implementation instead of stepping back and focusing on what will impact change the most: the people themselves. Organizations who invest in supporting individuals along the change spectrum and empower them to see themselves as part of the solution will see sustainable change across their entire workforce. So how can leaders facilitate this large-scale change amongst each employee? The Prosci ADKAR Change Management Model details five building blocks that help create lasting change at the individual level: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement. Learn how the ADKAR Model can help leaders at your organization combat resistance to the people side of change.

The 5 Phases of the ADKAR Change Management Model

Roadblocks to implementing successful change often aren’t the changes themselves, but rather employee mentality towards that change.  Employees are often unaware of the personal and organizational benefits of adopting company-wide changes and unprepared to be successful in their new roles. Through awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement, you can help each team member effectively sustain the new practices that come with change. Let’s learn about the five building blocks of the ADKAR Change Management Model together to better facilitate individual change.

1. Awareness of the Need for Change

One of the biggest resistances to change is a lack of understanding why it is needed in the first place. Being transparent about the issues that brought about the change is key to building trust among those affected by this transition. Have empathy for the fact that asking for this change requires employees to step outside of their comfort zones. Meet each person where they are by opening up two-way communication such as clarifying the ROI of change, discussing what pain points to anticipate, and encouraging questions and suggestions from your employees. Ultimately, being upfront and clear about your reasoning behind the change well ahead of time allows your employees to have the confidence and willingness to accept what’s on the horizon.

2. Desire to Support the Change

While employees may understand why the change needs to be made, having the desire to participate is a whole other ball game. Inspiring the desire to change is probably the most difficult part of the ADKAR Change Management Model, as you need to appeal to the logical and emotional side of those involved. If your employees don’t have skin in the game and understand why the change benefits them personally, you will likely see roadblocks at every turn. Creating a feedback loop ensures that concerns and suggestions are raised, captured, and immediately implemented when relevant by creating a feedback loop.

3. Knowledge of How to Change

OK, so you’ve got people on board with wanting to make the change. Great! However, they can only implement that change if they are comfortable with the new procedures and know where they fit in the process flow. It is helpful to identify all existing knowledge gaps in advance and clearly define the skills that are needed to implement change every step of the way. To begin filling in these gaps and encouraging best practices for your employees, you should provide adequate training and documentation of the new processes and procedures for them to refer back to. Leaders of change management should also offer guidance on the soft-skills and behavioral changes needed to continue moving along the change spectrum.

4. Ability to Demonstrate Skills and Behavior

Just because an individual theoretically understands how to implement the change, doesn’t mean they will have the ability to translate it practically within their roles right away. To effectively make this shift, it is best to have some practice runs, reflect on what went well and what still needs improvement, and provide constructive feedback where relevant. This hands-on training can help avoid costly errors in the future. Think of it as the scrimmage before the big game.

5. Reinforcement to Sustain the Change

Once the change has successfully been implemented is not the time to relent. These processes and procedures are still brand new to your organization, and it is widely accepted that it takes 66 days before a new behavior becomes automatic. Reinforcement is a critical measure  to ensure that the change is sustainable and people don’t revert to old workflows. Providing positive reinforcement in the form of recognition, rewards, performance measures, and feedback, shows your employees the crucial role they play in helping the organization achieve its targeted results. To avoid backsliding on the change spectrum, lookout for parts of the process that aren’t working or bottlenecks that are forming, which can overwork and stress out your staff. By enacting a monitoring process after the change has been implemented, you can provide the proper support and resources to quickly correct any issues that have formed early on.  Now is the time to show your staff that you are committed to the change for the long run!

Implement the Prosci ADKAR Model with EVOLVE to Lead Today!

The Prosci ADKAR Model is built around successfully enacting change at the day-to-day individual level. Organizational change comes from the collective effort of each individual employee steadily evolving from their current state to their future state. Leaders of change management must learn how to support individuals along the change spectrum, including troubleshooting each step of the ADKAR model along the way. The work is complete when each employee confidently believes that they have the awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement to sustain this change. Implement the ADKAR Change Management Model at your organization with EVOLVE to Lead Today!

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