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ADKAR Model - Highlight "K" - increasing knowledge of the needed change

Over the years, various Change Management models have been highlighted as key to adopting change in contingent workforce environments. You might be familiar with the ADKAR Change Management model. In the weeks to come, Tracz Consulting will share a series of blogs on each of the components of this Change Management model, and last share our blog: Desire– to participate and support the change in your extended workforce program. Today we explore K for Knowledge" and how to change.

The ADKAR model is not only for the elements of change management, but it also follows the sequencing of the change elements. People adopting change will only know how to change once they have the awareness and desire. Starting with training or influencing the knowledge of the change before they understand and desire will result in a lack of willingness and holding onto the knowledge being imparted.

The most common method of building knowledge of the planned change is facilitating training. Yet, training is not the only way to build knowledge within the audience of what you are changing other ways to promote knowledge. Standard methods in the contingent workforce space include reference materials like a multipage standard operating procedure manual. I provide these documents to all of my internally managed enterprise clients. They are often over fifty pages and include step-by-step instructions and illustrated swim lane workflows. More common tools include 1-page quick reference guides, short videos, or job aids. Recently, I have been involved in a project where we selected a new VMS (Vendor Management Systems) for a financial technology client. One of the items that swayed the selection committee was the ease of support for end-users, which included embedded videos and chat to tool administrators. These easy ways to promote self-learning were a critical differentiator that was highly impactful to this client and helped select this tool.

Strategic Factors of conveying knowledge to build an effective training program:

  1. Capability to increase knowledge. Each resource has a different ability to assume knowledge, some people embrace new processes and tools swiftly, and others find it very difficult. This is especially true with the adoption of a new Vendor Management system. An IT manager who spends their day responding to emails, building Project, plans, PowerPoint presentations, and pivot tables in excel is going to adopt the use of a new Vendor Management System much more effortlessly than a Production Facility manager who is responsible for ensuring manufacturing equipment is in working order.

  2. Methods of delivering knowledge. Like gaining new knowledge, some resources will learn with more hands-on experience. I have used both forms of demonstrating how to complete actions and have the trainees log into a system and perform the required steps. While building your change management plan, you must assess if it is feasible or necessary to have the trainees take on everyday actions in a test site. Specifically, managers log in and approve a sample timecard or review a resume in a VMS.

  3. Leaping into a future blog just a bit too "R" Reinforcement is critical to collect while delivering the training. Make sure you get FAQs and Feedback. While you might be the change agent – the knowledge does not need to flow in one direction. While in training, collect frequently asked questions and distribute these questions as a follow-up to the training session and solicit feedback. Soliciting feedback can be as simple as a 1 question survey ranking the users' satisfaction with the training received.

Ensuring that your resources know about the change you are implementing requires an assessment of the capability to adapt to the change, the best way of imparting the knowledge, and the opportunity to continue to ramp their knowledge of the change and feel comfortable executing on the required actions you are requesting of them.

Stay tuned for two more blogs in our ADKAR change management series, the second A, to implement the desired skills and Reinforcement to sustain the change you are trying to implement.


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