INTRODUKTION: Welcome to the HUMAN UNIVERZ Reinforcement site. 

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The first step. Whatever you may need to change - a server in the basement, a shift in strategy, downsizing or the culture of your company - it begins with awareness. 

Creating awareness is answering questions that fulfills the human need to know "why". Why is it necessary, why now, what is wrong with our current approach. Moreso, the employee would want to know what's in it for them? 

Build a story. A change story can be difficult to construct, but it is easily approached by asking a series of questions.

  • Begin with Why should we change? By establishing the central message of why change is necessary, you construct a burning platform on which you communicate. The platform must generate a controlled sense of urgency that change is necessary for the company to survive or thrive. 
  • Follow up with a sense of direction. Where are we going? It is important that you speak to both head and heart when you are drawing the bigger picture - especially if the reasons for changing is not apparent to your employees to begin with. In your change story, the vision and purpose of the change are central pillars that must be shown again and again. Show the attractive future.
  • You must be concrete. Be truthful in what demands and requirements are expected, and tell what it will take to move your company from A to B. What will happen? 
  • In the overall change strategy, the last question answers the 'how'. How will we do it? Here you can make the change real by continuously explaining how you will implement the change. Show the real planning and show a realistic one. Who will be affected and how? 
  • Insofar we've built a change story that connects the vision to the business. The employee perspective however rarely fits into the overall business strategy, but your employees will certainly sit back with the question of What's in it for me? This is both a practical issue of how daily work tasks are affected, but also a personal one. You need to consider both perspectives: what concerns does the employees have? What do they stand to gain from the change? And finally, how will it impact their life and livelihood? 




Remember that not all information should come from the same person. 48 % of people prefer that business changes comes from the CEO, while 26 % prefer it comes from the executive manager. 78 % prefer that changes, which affect employees personally should always come from the employee supervisor.


Pitfall #2



The second step. The ADKAR model is built on a continuous path. First awareness, then desire. The desire to change is an issue that must be dealt with on all levels of your organization, including managers, change champions and yourself. 

Desire inherently draws from the change context itself, but also from the change story, the organizational history with change and the individual perspective. But can be coached. We would like to propose two concrete tools on how to generate desire. 

Reflection Cards. At HUMAN UNIVERZ, we've created two deck of playing cards - one for managers and one for employees. You don't exactly play with them, but it does help your managers and employees to put the change into perspective. The cards simply state a question - so you only need three things: a deck of cards, a group of your colleagues and a safe environment, where the players can be honest. 

If played truthfully, using the reflection cards can reveal both personal and organizational factors that affects the succes of your change. Perhaps the change is in reality smaller than felt or your managers doesn't wholefully know what the change will entail. It may also dispel any unfounded resistance. 

We have picked out a few examples:

No. 2 for Employees: How would you imagine that you celebrate the success after a succesfully completed change?

No. 3 for Managers: What change in my life has been the best by far? How can I actively affect this change, so the next one will be just as good?

No. 4 for Employees: How does your everyday life affect our attitude towards this change?

No. 6 for Employees: Do you have any experiences regarding changes that turned out to be a failure? How does that affect your attitude and behavior right now?

No. 16 for Managers: Am I completely aware of what is expected of me - or am I working in the dark?

No. 17 for Managers: If I look at my life - as a whole - how big is this change?

The Energy Bar. Another tool that you could use is the Energy Bar. It is developed by change management expert Rick Maurer to help leaders build support for change. As a change manager, you do need to consider your stakeholders. Who's the opposition? What leverage do they have in the organization? How do we compare them to our change champions? It easily becomes complicated. 

Maurer suggests that you simply begin by drawing a line. Consider resistance and support as an energy bar. Immediately you know where each stakeholder is. The next step is planning on how to move resistant stakeholders - and how far. You can also use the energy bar as a measurement tool to determine how effective you are as a change manager. Watch Rick Maurer explain how the EnergyBar can improve your ability to influence desire. 



The third step. Much like the change story, change managers must ensure that both managers and employees are well-informed about the current changes. The Knowledge component of the ADKAR model however strives to be more than informing. 

Employees must know specifically which competences and what behavior is necessary for a succesful change. Together with your sponsors, you as change manager, must ensure that there's an organizational engagement as well as formal programs to support this step. 

From formal training sessions in the advanced IT systems, coaching and sparring with managers on how to handle cultural changes, access to manuals, guidelines to a hotline employees can call. The options are many. 

One recognized method of establishing an environment, which fosters knowledge is the 70:20:10 Model for Learning and Development. 

70:20:10. The 70:20:10 is a model, which provides a structure of how people most effectively learn. Consider going for a 6-hour seminar - how much of the colossal amount of information you receive in that time span. How much do you immediately forget? 

The model suggests that learning is inherently: 

  • 70% from challenging assignments
  • 20% from developmental relationships
  • 10% from coursework and training

To reap the benefits of effective learning, you as a change manager will need to begin to facilitate informal learning environments rather than managing formal training sessions. Watch as Charles Jennings explain in the video below: 



The fourth step. Ability is the realization of Knowledge. One thing is to know what behavior is desired, another is the ability to do so. As previously mentioned, the ADKAR model is successive - knowing what to do comes before the ability to perform. This ensures that one knows whether one is doing the right thing or not. As such, the next step is Ability.

You can employ several tactics to foster ability. Day-to-day involvement of supervisors, access to subject matter experts, excercises during training, but tracking the ability level across the change implementation is significant. To managers, and the business itself, ability is an important component. Simply because this is the point in the process, where the realization of benefits begins. Change is happening - and the effect can be measured.

ADKAR Assessment. Measuring the effects of change entails more than just measuring ability. It covers the ADKAR spectrum, and the same measurement over time can give answers to questions you may need at that moment. At HUMAN UNIVERZ we use an ADKAR Assessment to review what barriers employees, departments or the organization as a whole is being held up by. As change manager, you may be ready to initiate training programmes and mentorship programmes to facilitate knowledge and foster ability, but you have several departments still struggling with creating desire. 

Much like the Energy Bar, the ADKAR Assessment serves as a simple tool to provide guidelines on, which activities and actors are relevant in securing commitment. You do have to remember that assessments cannot stand alone. It's critical that sponsors are engaged in participating in the assessment and implementing any recommendation. Be agile. 


Pitfall #1: Before you begin to measure the effects of your change project, remember to communicate why.


Pitfall #4: Measuring is a change in itself that must be implemented. How do you most effectively do that in your organization?


Pitfall #2: Consider how many measurements are necessary. Remember to be agile in your planning.


Pitfall #3: Does your recipient know ADKAR? Should they? Now?



The fifth - and final - step. Insofar, you have built a change story and told far and wide about the coming changes. Your organization has the desire to enact the changes. They understand how they and business will be affected. They've adapted to change and have succesfully implemented new behaviors and skill sets. You can finally go back to business as usual! Except change is constant. Reinforcement is an easily forgotten component of the change process. 

It is easy to think that reinforcement is simply serves as a reminder to keep at it. The employees still think to themselves once and again, it was better in the old days. Maybe it was, may it wasn't - which is why reinforcement has three objectives. Firstly, the change itself must be reinforced. Remembering why we've struggled to change, keeping desire high, ensuring that employees are aware of what's expected of them and they have the ability to perform in a bold new world lest they hit the reset button. Secondly, it is time to see if the change actually changed something. Measuring whether your financial, cultural or organizational goals have been met is an easy way of determining if you're there yet and why ("There are still a lot of employees using the old system, which is why we're not meeting the financial goals"). 

Appreciation at Work. Thirdly, it is time to acknolwedge, appreciate and celebrate. Everybody wants to feel appreciated for the work they've put in. Remember that only those who try, do. So it is important as a business to show that the efforts employees have made are meaningful to the company. Now most managers would say - Hey! I appreciate my employees and colleagues! - but do they recognize it? Not everybody are appreciated in the same manner, and efforts to say thank you seems false. 

Remember there's a difference between acknowledging a performance and appreciating a person. At HUMAN UNIVERZ, we use the 5 Languages of Appreciation to help ourselves appreciate each other, but also help our clients to create appreciation at their work. The 5 Languages of Appreciation was developed by Dr. Paul White to show that different persons prefer different languages:

  • Tangible gifts
  • Quality time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • (Physical touch)

Learn from Dr. White on ways to show appreciation at work.