ADKAR Explained

As a new graduate fresh out of university, I had little idea what Change Management was, nor had I heard about Prosci® and the Prosci® change management approach.

“ADKAR®? What is that?” I found asking myself during my first few weeks. It was a language that I thought would take a while for me to grasp, however, I was surprised how simple a concept it is and could quickly see how it can support with ‘the people side of change’.

In short the Prosci® ADKAR® model is five building blocks for change. It is simple, results oriented and easily applied to a variety of situations; it works for the individual and for the organisation. It is based on how each individual experiences change and provides a framework for a change practitioner to help individuals through a change.

So in brief the elements of ADKAR and the actions we can employ at each stage to facilitate individual change:

1. Awareness
Those impacted need to be aware of the change, its nature, why is the change needed.
Actions: Effective communications, sharing messages about the reason for change and vision for the future state.

2. Desire
Answering ‘What’s in it for me?’ why should your employees adopt your change?
Actions: You will need to identify advocates for the change. If a supervisor is supportive of a change, their team will be more likely to follow their lead.

3. Knowledge
Those who are having to change need to know how to operate in the new way. They may need new skills or training.
Actions: Provide effective and appropriate training, coaching and mentoring, with real-life application. Make the change real for your team.

4. Ability
Space and time to practice and be supported, building the capability to implement the change.
Actions: Coaching, and hands-on exercises and time to practice.

5. Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement to increase the chances that the change will be sustained.
Actions: Celebrate successes, individually and as a group; give meaningful recognition and feedback.

Always be aware that depending on the details/type/size/complexity of the change that individuals may move and accept change at differing speeds and they can move forward and backwards through the steps as well!

If you would like to learn more about ADKAR® you can download Prosci's series of ADKAR eBooks, and you can purchase Jeffery Hiatt's 'ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and our Community' from our bookstore.

Join us to learn more about the ADKAR model on the Prosci Change Management Certification Programme.

You might also be interested in our blog ‘The Fundamentals of Change Management and why your employees should not be scared of change’.