The success of any change is dependent upon the front-line employees adopting new behaviors or responsibilities. But nothing will happen without coaching from their supervisors. This blog presents the essential steps to enable supervisors to coach their front-line employees successfully through change.

It is important to have a basic understanding of the ADKAR Model prior to learning how to use it to identify gaps and coach employees. Please read the ADKAR Model overview if you are not familiar with the ADKAR Model. This coaching guide is for supervisors to use with their employees.

Supervisors coaching guide

Step One: Supervisors conduct a group meeting with employees

  1. Introductions and ice-breaker
  2. Explanation of the change: Provide the background and context for this change. Be honest about what is known and what is not known at this time.
  3. ADKAR introduction: Introduce the ADKAR Model. Talk through several changes (child’s behavior, quitting smoking, etc.) and how the ADKAR Model applies to these changes.
  4. ADKAR individual exercise: Employees should now complete the ADKAR exercise for a personal change. Those who feel comfortable can share their experience (you’ll be surprised by how many will share). You may want to provide the paperback book, “Employee’s Survival Guide to Change.” This book includes worksheets for ADKAR.
  5. ADKAR group exercise and presentation: Work in small groups or as an entire team to look at the current business change in terms of the ADKAR Model. Where are the barrier points? Brainstorm and capture on flipcharts.
  6. Question and answer: Facilitate a discussion about the change and about ADKAR. Provide an open and safe environment for candid discussion about the change.
  7. Next steps and where to get support: Indicate the upcoming individual coaching sessions. Each employee should prepare an ADKAR assessment on themselves to bring to their individual coaching session. Schedule an individual session with each employee.


Step Two: Supervisors conduct individual meetings with each of their employees

  1. Discuss the employee's ADKAR assessment of themselves. Allow them to provide background and explanation on each area of their ADKAR assessment.
  2. Agree on their barrier point to change. Their barrier point to change is the first area where their score is 3 or less. Focus your individual coaching activities in the first area where the score is 3 or less. The actions you take will be different for each individual (the output will look like the table below). Discuss potential root causes for this barrier point.
  3. Create an individual change action plan with the employee that will help them overcome their barriers to change.


Step Three: Analyze patterns and create ongoing coaching roadmaps

  1. Create a grid with each of your employee's ADKAR profiles included. The output will be a table like the one below. This makes it easier to see trends and patterns. Make sure you do not share this grid with employees.CM074 img e.gif
  2. Look for patterns. If everyone's barrier point is the same, you will be able to address this with the group as a whole.
  3. Once you have identified patterns and addressed them, create an on-going coaching roadmap for each of your employees that builds on their individual change action plan.
  4. Follow up. The frequency and content of these individual coaching sessions will depend on the specific individual, the size of the change and the organizational attributes. Complete assessments and templates for sizing your change and assessing your organizational attributes are available online in the Prosci Change Managers Practitioner eToolkit.


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Written by
Tim Creasey
Tim Creasey

Tim Creasey is Prosci’s Chief Innovation Officer and a globally recognized leader in change management. His work forms the foundation of the largest body of knowledge in the world on managing the people side of change to deliver organizational results.