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Awareness - The first step in communicating change in your extended workforce program

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 today we start with: “A - Awareness.”

“A” is the awareness of the need for change. This is often the most challenging aspect to gain buy-in to start or transform any process—especially a process as complex as hiring needed resources. When implementing change, it is important to realize that you require your co-workers to step outside of their comfort zone. They rarely do so willingly unless you can help them understand why the change is necessary or beneficial. In ADKAR methodology, Awareness is also known as the Precontemplation Stage. Know that others within your organization are not considering the idea of formalizing policy and processes associated with a contingent workforce program. Furthermore, they may not be interested in help as they think current processes are working. In this stage, we often find that others defend their current approach. You often see that specific groups may be defensive in the face of others’ efforts to affect change. There are usually strong relationships with staffing suppliers or existing workers in a future stage we will address overcoming their objections.

Building a strategy to gain that adoption starts with building Awareness of your view of a problem. These problems can be as simple as no standardized contracts for staffing suppliers. Or having limited visibility of your external workforce and what it cost. Are you over or underpaying for the market? Or is it a compliance challenge? Everyone needs a background check, and you are not sure how or even if that is occurring? Your view of the problem could be many things, but the key to this phase is defining it and building awareness of it.

The next step is building out the impact of the problem or problems you have identified. For example, if you are paying below market, then you are challenged to attract workers. One of the clients I supported recently had a requirement in their customer contracts that required all candidates to be background checked and some to be drug screened. Without technology to track their external labor, they could not confirm that these criteria had been met and failed a customer audit. This problem ended up costing the client valuable business. As such, the key is the impact of the problem and making the case compelling.

The final part of the Awareness phase is the credibility of the sender. To ensure your challenge is backed by credibility. Safeguarding your Awareness comes with credibility. You could engage an external source such as a contingent workforce consulting firm like Tracz Consulting. We can help you assess your processes whether there is nothing in place or you have used an MSP for years. Tracz Consulting can help you identify the problems, model the impacts, and formulate communications to gain internal Awareness of the challenges and how best to address them.

Stay tuned for your next installment addressing: “D – the Desire” and how to get others in your organization to want the change.

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