What are the specific strategies that we can employ to create the desire in people to support and participate in the change process?
Desire is the second step in the ADKAR model
Managers cannot dictate or control an employee's desire to change. Employees choose. However, that does not mean that managers are powerless to achieve this result with their employees. The enablers or elements that may create a desire to change include:
• Fear of job loss
• Discontent with the current state
• Imminent negative consequences
• Enhanced job security
• Affiliation and sense of belonging
• Career advancement
• Acquisition of power or position
• Ownership for the future ...view middle of the document...
However, the first step before using any of the methods suggested below is to ensure that each employee is aware of the need for change as discussed in Part 2 of this ADKAR series. This is a prerequisite before addressing an employee's desire to support and participate in a change. Part of building awareness around the need for change is ensuring that business leaders have created an urgency for change with employees. This is part of sharing why the change is needed and what is the risk of not changing (see Part 2 of this series for more information).
The methods provided here are techniques that have been demonstrated to work by other organizations. However, it is not a "one-size-fits-all" approach. The combination of a specific change, a specific organization and each unique employee will result in a course of action that is unique to each person and the situation. In addition, some employees are motivated by positive opportunities, while others are motivated by avoidance of negative consequences. Carefully choose the right approach for your situation.
Method 1 - Listen and understand objections
A critical step any manager should take when creating desire to change is to listen. The power of true listening and empathy is often underestimated. In many cases employees simply want to be heard and to voice their objections. Understanding these objections can often provide a clear path toward resolution. Listening can also help managers identify misunderstandings about the change. Rumors and background conversation often produce incorrect messages and wrong perceptions. Only through listening can managers identify these wrong perceptions and provide a correct and clear story about the change.
Caution: When engaging in this process, managers should avoid debating or arguing with employees. The goal is to listen and understand, and provide clarity about the change. The goal is not to persuade or convince the employee to go along with the change. Recall in Part 2 of this series the discussion about change as a process, not an event. Managers should allow employees time to move through the transition, and not try to manage the change with one meeting.
Method 2 - Focus on the "what" and let go of the "how"
In some types of changes, it is effective for managers to let go of the "how" and simply communicate "what" needs to change. This process transfers ownership of the solution to employees. Managers can share a clear vision of the end state, along with specific goals and timelines with employees. Employees then take on the task of achieving that vision. Employee involvement and ownership naturally builds desire to support the change, and ensures that employee objections are addressed in their solution. This technique is especially useful in small groups or departments in which the change falls within the scope of that group, and has little or no impact on other groups or departments.
Caution: If any combination of the following...