Business Center

Roles of Managers During Times of Change – Some tips

Developed in November 2011 by Gary Vansuch

ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government, and our Community; Jeffery M. Hiatt (2006); ISBN: 1930885504
Change management: The People Side of Change; Jeffery M. Hiatt and Timothy Creasey (2012); ISBN: 1930885615.

This Quick Start Guide is intended to help Managers lead during times of change, by helping these managers assist their employees to effectively adapt to a change. This Quick Start Guide can be used on its own, or in conjunction with the books referenced above.

Start with a description of the change:

Manager’s roles for this change -- Shorter version: five overall roles

1. Communicate with your people about this change.
2. Demonstrate your support for the change.
3. Coach your people through the change process.
4. Engage with and provide support to the Sponsor and the team who are developing this change.
5. Actively identify and manage resistance.

Manager’s roles -- Longer version: activities for Managers during each phase of this change.

A. Adapting to this change myself
UNDERSTAND - I will seek out information to understand why this change is happening.
ASK QUESTIONS - I will ask questions to make sure I understand how this change will impact me and my team.
PROVIDE FEEDBACK - I will provide feedback in a clear, non-confrontational manner to my manager and to the Sponsor (or project team) of this change, including any objections I have.
DEAL WITH YOUR OWN RESISTANCE - If I am resistant to the change, I will figure out the root cause of my resistance and will work with my manager to find solutions to my objections.
SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATE - Before introducing this change to my people, I will decide to support and participate in the change.
B. Introducing this change to my team
SHARE INFORMATION - I will share the nature of the change with my team, in context with the broader vision and direction of the organization (CDOT, my Division/Region, or my team).
EXPLAIN WHY - I will explain why this change is happening, including the risk of not changing.

ENCOURAGE DIALOGUE - I will formally encourage dialogue within my team by asking them to

1) provide feedback to me

2) raise their questions and concerns about the change.

CORRECT MISINFORMATION - I will quickly correct any misinformation about the change.
ADVOCATE - I will be an advocate for the change, and will visibly demonstrate my personal support and enthusiasm for it.
C. Managing my team through this change transition

LINK AND LISTEN - I will have sessions with my team to

1) identify how they will be impacted by the change

2) link the change to their job roles

3) listen to / understand their concerns.

MANAGE RESISTANCE - I will identify any areas of resistance to the change, and I will actively manage this resistance.
FILL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL GAPS - I will work with my team to assess any gap between current job knowledge and skills, and the job knowledge and skills needed to support this change; and will work with them to create development plans related to this change.
INFORM - I will give ongoing information about the change to my team and will make sure that my people have the time necessary to attend training related to this change.
MENTOR - I will mentor my people during the implementation of this change and will provide a safe environment for my people to adapt to the change.
D. Making this a lasting change, and celebrating success
CELEBRATE - I will publicly recognize and celebrate achievements and successes attained by my team related to this change.
RECOGNIZE - I will recognize individuals for their contribution and support.
EVALUATE PROGRESS – In a manner suitable for this change, I will implement appropriate organizational measurement and performance management aligned with the change, so that my team’s progress is observable and can be evaluated.
CONTINUE TO IMPLEMENT - I will work with my team to ensure that they implement the change and achieve the objectives of this change initiative.
INFORM SPONSOR - I will provide information back to the Sponsor of this change (or project team) regarding how well my team has embraced the change (including specific performance data along with any issues and ongoing resistance).