Why sustaining change can be difficult

In the last blog of the ADKAR®  series I will cover the last step – reinforcement. The reality is that it is human nature to go back to what we know. Reinforcement essentially ensures that the new way of doing things remains in place and that is why it is such a vital component of successful change.

The challenge however when it comes to this is that once a change has been implemented, organisations are often already moving on to the next change.

It takes time and effort to make sure a change takes root. And as the final building block of successful change, it is essential that reinforcement is maintained so that changes are sustained and deliver the required results.

Methods to sustain change include:

  • Visible performance measurement
  • Putting accountability mechanisms in place
  • Celebrations
  • Rewards and recognition
  • Providing ongoing feedback and support

Methods to ensure reinforcement:

  • Visible recognition by senior level management
  • Project-sponsored celebrations for employees
  • Compensation and appraisal systems designed to support the change

In reality you may find that there is so much change going on in your organisation that maintaining a focus on reinforcing change is difficult. However losing your focus on reinforcement may soon see employees reverting back to their old behaviours. The way to determine whether change has taken root is if employees are actually doing their jobs differently in support of the change. Good luck with your change management process, I hope my blog series has proved helpful.

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