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Employee Engagement is a Critical Component to Change Management

In my last post, I discussed how successful leaders can drive organizational change. But that’s only part of the equation; employees also need to be part of the calculation and actively involved if organizational change efforts are to succeed. Change is rarely easy, and the process can feel as daunting as learning a new language. That helps explain why we’re committed to becoming fluent in the Prosci ADKAR Model here at Vertex. This research-based, individual change model was developed by change management expert Jeff Hiatt; the acronym ADKAR stands for:

  • Awareness
  • Desire
  • Knowledge
  • Ability
  • Reinforcement

According to this model, the five milestones listed above should be achieved by individuals involved in the change effort if that effort is to succeed.

At Vertex, we’ve translated those five milestones into some basic yet highly useful questions, shown below. We encourage our leaders to ensure that employees have the information they need in order to respond to these questions individually, making the change less daunting and clarifying their role in implementing the change. Here are the questions:

  1. Do I know what this change is about, why it’s necessary, and how it will affect me?
  2. Do I support this change and agree to participate?
  3. Do I know what’s needed from me both during the change process and in the future state?
  4. Do I have the ability to demonstrate the change requested; do I have all the tools and skills I need?
  5. Do I know that my participation is useful and valued?

That final question helps employees, and their leaders, determine the extent to which they are contributing to the solution. When asked at check-in meetings, these simple questions can yield some profound insights to gauge the progress of specific change initiatives. It can also be valuable to ask employees these questions prior to the launch of a major change initiative. The answers are intended to provide a baseline assessment of change readiness that empowers both leaders and employees to identify and remove potential barriers.

Please remember that the Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information.


About this Contributor

Colleen Kirk Headshot
Colleen Kirk
Director Organizational Development

Colleen Kirk is Director of Organizational Development at Vertex where she is responsible for enabling cross functional teams to successfully manage change. She has over 20 years of professional experience in organizational development and change management, and supports the Talent Management efforts within Vertex. Colleen has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior Studies from Immaculata University and will complete her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Joseph’s University in May of 2014.

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