Achieving employee buy-in when implementing organisational change

Following on from the first of my ADKAR® blogs, this blog will cover the second step in the ADKAR® model for change – desire.

Only once awareness has been achieved, and employees have a thorough understanding of why change is needed, can the next step (desire) be addressed. Desire essentially comes down to achieving staff buy-in, where each employee makes a personal decision to support and participate in the change.

It is critical to recognize when employees have moved through the awareness phase and are now in the desire phase. The focus during this phase is to translate reasons for change articulated during the awareness phase into motivating factors that encourage participation.

Because desire is a personal decision and is essentially out of leadership’s control, this step is perhaps the most difficult of the five steps in the ADKAR® model. However that being said, there are certainly measures organisations can implement to promote and influence individuals to get on board and participate in the change.

Factors that influence desire
These include:

  • Respect of and willingness to follow a leadership team that is authentic and trusted
  • Understanding of consequences of not participating
  • Incentive opportunities
  • Desire to belong
  • The risk associated with not effectively implementing the change including organisational and individual impact.

Factors that may cause resistance
These include:

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Comfort with the status quo
  • The change is counter a person’s interests or values
  • No opportunity for personal gain
  • The organisation’s history when it comes to implementing change.

It is also important to be cognisant of the fact that both awareness and desire levels can fluctuate and it is therefore important to maintain levels of awareness and desire to make any change successful.

Be sure to follow the blog series. In my next blog I will be tackling the third step – knowledge -and why it is an important part of the change management process.


Source: Jeff Hiatt’s ADKAR® model for change
disclaimer: ADKAR is a registered trademark of Prosci, Inc.