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Change practitioners have long recognized that managers are a key lever to success in change management work, and Prosci research backs this up. For more than 20 years, study participants have stated that managers who understand and support the rationale behind change management are crucial for project success. 

The ADKAR Model and Communication

The ADKAR Model offers people managers a powerful framework for managing individual change. It also provides them with a common language for discussing a change with their employees and among themselves. Cohesive communication helps people managers communicate with their employees and better understand the process. The model’s easy-to-use and simple structure also enables managers to quickly learn and apply it within their working groups.

Employees consistently want to hear about change directly from their managers. And managers can even mitigate employee resistance to change. Managers who leverage the Prosci ADKAR Model can positively impact a change in these and other ways.

Prosci study participants who chose to empower their managers with the ADKAR Model did so because they had seen its success on a broader change initiative and chose to expand that success

Applications of ADKAR Research

Prosci’s Applications of ADKAR research effort explored seven uses of the ADKAR Model, including empowering managers. The quotes below from study participants shed light on the applications of and results of providing managers with the model:

It provides them a framework to understand where in the process they are in terms of implementing change to their teams and how they can/should have a cadence to their delivery.  Also helps them understand their role as a sponsor of change.

Managers tend to move fast through the project mode, and think that people will behave differently as soon as they hear that change is required. With ADKAR, we get them to understand that more will be needed, that you need to invest in awareness, that you need to talk with people, engage them to come up with ideas etc... We hope to reduce the stress and burnout in the organization by paying more attention to how we implement projects / changes.

Easy to understand and use, and yields immediate results when engaging employees - facilitation tool for engagement.

“It is intuitive and we can build coaching conversations around ADKAR.  Often change conversations can be difficult. With ADKAR in mind they can ask questions that will get to the heart of the challenges that managers can experience in supporting staff through change. When staff identify a barrier point that the manager needs support to help their staff overcome, they have a language to provide feedback to project teams.  Keeps everyone moving in the same direction and enables project teams and operational managers and supervisors to connect.”

People Managers and ADKAR

The full research deep dive includes additional insights into how participants empowered their managers and what resources they provided them. Click the image below to download the deep dive for inspiration and examples, as well as a story of how one organization saw success when providing the model to managers.

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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.