Organizations decide they’re going to change all the time. Especially during times like we’re experiencing today, when recruiting is tough, engagement is a challenge, and retention is a top priority. Organizational change doesn’t just because an acknowledgement was made that change needs to happen. Human nature can mean that people both want and resist change in equal measures. Fear of the unknown, hanging on to the past- sound familiar?
Managing change on the personal and organizational level requires new thinking, new models for change and new frameworks and tools to enable the smooth implementation of the desired change.
Change happens when the organization creates a process and a set of tools that yield the desired outcomes, mitigates resistance, increases adoption, and drives the organization faster.
So how do organizations create that process? Well, I ran across this acronym that might help. AKDAR
- Awarenessof the need for change
- Desireto participate and support the change
- Knowledgeon how to change
- Abilityto implement change
- Reinforcementto ensure change sticks
Think of ADKAR as a linear process and you need to accomplish one step before you can move to the next step. If your organization is going through a change initiative and you’re thinking about implementing a model like ADKAR or any model for that matter, it would be important to get employees ready. Even introducing a change model is change. Here are three ways to get the organization prepared.
Communication: Managers need to set expectations, using a variety of communication methods and styles. Not only is it important to communicate, but to do it frequently and effectively.
Training: This can be a combination of delivery methods such as classroom, refresher, just-in-time. Training needs to be more than simply telling employees “this is the way it’s going to be”. It needs to be effective and inclusive.
Reinforcement: Everyone needs to set the example for the new expected behaviours. Both managers and employees should recognize positive behaviour. Managers and employees should expect to be held accountable.
While we can rely on the steps in change process being consistent, change takes place by the person. So, the length of time in each step could be different. Add to that the fact that change is always happening- any given moment, we are all processing several changes: big, small, and all in a different stage of the process.
At times, dealing with change can sound so simple. But it’s really not. Organizations should find a change management model that works for them and train employees how to use it. Because change isn’t going away anytime soon.
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