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Giving Managers a Framework for
Leading the People Side of Change


In study after study, Prosci has seen a common denominator to successfully transitioning individuals through change. This common thread is a person who plays a vital role in change, and has great influence over an individual employee changing. This is a person who employees look to, overwhelmingly more than anyone else in the organization, to understand how a change or initiative will affect their day-to-day work. This is a person that change managers need to ensure is on board with the change and empowered to lead their employees to meet project objectives. This person is the manager.

Prosci's 2012 Best Practices in Change Management report confirmed what past years have shown as well: managers can be a great contributor or a formidable obstacle to successful change. The managers' ability to lead their employees through change is often the deciding factor in how quickly and fully a change is adopted.

In the 2012 report, the following were identified as the most important actions for managers to take in the change process:

  1. Communicate with direct reports about the change
  2. Demonstrate support for the change
  3. Coach employees through the change
  4. Identify and manage resistance
  5. Engage with and provide support to the project team

While simply knowing this research finding is a good starting point, much more can be done to ensure these five roles are embraced. Like sponsors, project managers and change mangers, supervisors need to be equipped with a structured, repeatable process to lead change. A defined framework and set of tools will allow managers to lead the changes they are facing now, and the inevitable changes that will come in the future, more effectively. Managers will see better outcomes for their employees, their organization and themselves.

Prosci has developed a model and supporting tools specifically for managers, which are captured in the Change Management Guide for Managers. The underlying model in the toolkit is the Prosci Change Management Process for Managers and Supervisors. This process recognizes a crucial fact: managers are employees first, and managers second. Managers have to reconcile themselves with a change before they can effectively guide their direct reports. The framework shown in this toolkit contains two phases:

  1. Preparing yourself for change
  2. Leading employees through change



Phase 1 - Preparing Yourself for Change

Participants in the 2012 benchmarking report identified mid-level managers as the most resistant group to change. And for good reason! Imagine managers squeezed in a vice; managers are expected to introduce changes to the business, meet the needs of employees, and meanwhile run day-to-day business operations. Another change could oversaturate their workload, or compromise their control or authority. That change may be resisted, especially if there is a history of past failed changes or if managers are unaware of why the change is happening. A powerful way to battle resistance in managers is to give them the tools they need to identify and resolve their own resistance. This is exactly what the first phase of the Change Management Process for Managers and Supervisors does:

  1. Evaluate the changes underway that impact you and your team, as well as your personal level of buy-in. By applying the Prosci® ADKAR® model, you can pinpoint where you are struggling with a change, and develop action plans for addressing your own resistance.
  2. Be supportive of the change. You must first embrace a change that is affecting you and your employees before you can effectively lead your employees through change. This is known as the manager's challenge, and is an important cross-road in the manager's change journey. Taking action on your personal ADKAR analysis can help move you from resistant to supportive.
  3. Build capabilities for leading change with direct reports. By understanding the foundational concepts of change and the ADKAR Model, you will be empowered to understand and lead change with your employees.


Phase 2 - Leading Employees through Change

The second phase in the manager's framework turns the focus towards action steps to lead teams through change. This phase includes introducing changes to employees, building awareness of the need for change, guiding each employee through the stages of ADKAR, managing resistance with individuals, and acting as a liaison to the project team. This phase is where the coaching takes place.

  1. Introduce change to your employees. Begin building the awareness by addressing the business reasons for the change and how the change will impact your employees as individuals.
  2. Manage each employee through the transition. Recall the key activities to be performed by managers outlined above, and embrace those as your role in times of change: be a communicator, advocate, coach, resistance manager and liaison to your employees.
  3. Ensure the implemented changes are reinforced and celebrated. It is important to not only recognize and acknowledge employees who are thriving during the change, but also ensure that the time and energy committed to a project has not been wasted.

Every member of an organization plays important roles in times of change. As an employee-facing member of the organization, managers should be viewed as critical players. It is important to not forget that managers are employees, too. They must be led through the individual change process before they can become true leaders of change.


Using the Toolkit

The Change Management Guide for Managers comes in a hard-copy format, which allows managers to read through the process start to finish. The toolkit also has tabs for each step of the process for quick future reference. A USB is included with the binder that contains electronic versions of all the templates and worksheets for repeated use. These files include:

  • Change Summary Worksheet
  • Understanding Change Worksheet
  • Personal Viewpoint Worksheet
  • Manager and Supervisor Competency Assessment
  • Awareness-building plan template
  • ADKAR Profile Worksheet
  • Group Summary Worksheet
  • Training Needs Assessment
  • Fostering Ability Worksheet
  • Change Development Plan Template
  • ADKAR Employee Feedback Template


Additional Options and Resources

Training: Prosci offers a Coaching Program for managers and supervisors. This one-day program walks managers through the Prosci Change Management Process for Managers and Supervisors in the context of current changes happening in their organization. Participants leave armed with the knowledge and tools to lead their teams. The Change Management Guide for Managers is included in the materials of the program.

Licensing: For organizations who want to give managers across the company access to the Change Management Guide for Managers, Prosci offers organizational site licenses. These licenses allow organizations to give company-wide access to products and training programs for managers, executives, practitioners, and front-line employees.

For any questions about the above options, please contact Prosci at +1-970-203-9332.







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  • January 8 - 10, 2013: Denver, CO area
  • January 8 - 10, 2013: Washington DC area
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  • January 15 - 17, 2013: San Diego, CA area
  • January 22 - 24, 2013: Houston, TX area
  • January 29 - 31, 2013: Chicago, IL area
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  • February 26 - 28, 2013: Portland, OR area
  • March 5 - 7, 2013: Denver, CO area
  • March 12 - 14, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • March 12 - 14, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • March 19 - 21, 2013: Orlando, FL area
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Portland, OR area
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Houston, TX area
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Washington DC area
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Offerings for applying Prosci's change management methodologies:


  • Prosci's site licenses are a great solution for building change management capabilities and competencies throughout your organization. With a site license, you can customize and integrate Prosci's world-leading research and methodologies to fit your organization and begin building the individual competencies necessary for true change capability. Contact a Prosci Account Manager at +1-970-203-9332 or to discuss your change management needs and how Prosci's research-based, holistic, easy-to-use solutions can work for you.


  • Change management certification ($2800)- attend Prosci's 3-day certification program where you bring your own current change project to the session and learn to use Prosci's tools through practical application - taught by former fortune 500 executives at locations across the US - includes over $1000 in products, including the Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report, the Change Management Toolkit and the Change Management Pilot Pro 2012
  • Train-the-trainer ($3500) - learn how to teach Prosci change management training programs in your organization
  • Onsite training - bring Prosci to your location for 3-day certification programs, 4-6 hour executive briefings, 1-day manager programs or 1-day employee programs - call +1-970-203-9332 for more information

Methodology tools:

  • Change Management Toolkit ($389) - hardcopy 3-ring binder presenting the Prosci Change Management Methodology, includes templates, checklists and assessments for managing the people side of change (includes USB)
  • Change Management Pilot Pro 2012 ($489) - online tool including the Prosci Change Management Methodology, eLearning modules and downloadable templates, assessments, presentations and checklists
  • Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors ($209) - tools to help supervisors engage and coach their direct reports through change
  • PCT Analyzer ($149/$349) - web-based tool for collecting PCT Assessment data, analyzing results, identifying risks and developing action steps

References and books:

  • Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report ($289 / quantity discounts available) - journal-style report with lessons learned and best practices from 650 participants, presented in an easy-to-use format - reads as a checklist of what to do and what not to do
  • Change Management: the people side of change ($18.95 / quantity discounts available) - a primer for anyone involved in organizational change that addresses why manage change, individual change management and organizational change management
  • ADKAR: a model for change ($18.95 / quantity discounts available) - the definitive work on the Prosci ADKAR® Model
  • Employee's Survival Guide to Change ($14.95 / quantity discounts available) - a handbook to help employees survive and thrive during change, answers frequently asked questions and empowers employees to take charge of change



*** Prosci also offers leadership packages - groupings of products at discounts that offer you some of the most helpful and common combinations of Prosci change management resources



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