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Employee’s Survival Guide to Change

Change management is an important (but often misunderstood) component of modern organisations. In previous generations, organisational change was slow, but in today’s world of globilisation, competition and technological advances, change happens fast and it happens often.

Jeffrey M. Hiatt, the founder and lead editor of the Change Management Learning Centre which has led research projects with more than 1000 companies on change management and developed the Prosci change management methodology, has written the “Employee’s Survival Guide to Change”.

It’s a simple and easy to read book which provides sound guidelines for employees to help them deal with change. While the book has “employees” in the title, it will certainly benefit employers and managers too.

One of the key tools in the Prosci methodology is a model called ADKAR’. This model describes the required phases that an individual will go through when faced with change and is also a foundational tool for understanding “how, why and when” to use different change management tools

When implementing professional or personal changes, Hiatt recommends working with employees to assess their level in each of the following ADKAR steps. From 1 – 5 (5 being the highest):

A = How aware of the need to change is the person?
D = Does the person have a desire to change?
K = Does the person know how to change and what needs to change?
A = Does the person have the knowledge and skills to change?
R = Are reinforcements in place for change?

After scoring a person’s stage in each step, two things are noted. Firstly, take a note of each score of less than three; then highlight the score under three that occurred first in the order above. This score is the “barrier point” and is the first element that needs to be addressed to assist people through the change process.

The ADKAR process assists to identify the barriers to change and the order in which they should be addressed. For example, if a person has the knowledge and skills to change but has no desire to change, change management techniques need to be directed to the individual’s barrier point, in this case, the person’s desire to change.

If you are a manager, we encourage you to read this book to support you to identify barriers to your employees’ ability to embrace change. If you are an employee, we encourage you to read this book to assist yourself in identifying your own barrier point and developing some ideas and techniques to be able to embrace changes that inevitably occur in modern workplaces.

Change may be difficult but it is a constant in our lives and workplaces today. While we may have little control over the nature of the changes, we do have the ability to effectively support employees through the change and take positive steps ourselves to successfully navigate the change. Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you respond to it – this book can help focus your and other’s responses.

About the author

TMS Consulting