Introduction:

Bridges Transition Model focuses on a transition rather than a change. Run this Bridges Transition Model Process Checklist to effectively manage change in the form of an organizational transition.

Bridges Transition Model: An introduction

The Bridges Transition Model was developed by William Bridges in 1991. The model looks at change as a transition, acknowledging the emotional journey employees will encounter during the change. 

Change happens to people despite their reactions, or whether the recipient wants to change to not. Put simply, change is often forced on the recipient.

The transition model tackles change as a journey rather than an abrupt shift. This is done by detailing three stages to guide the recipient through change:

  • Ending, losing, and letting go
  • The neutral zone
  • The new beginning
What's good about it

The Bridges model takes a rare approach to change, acknowledging the employee's reactions and emotions. The very personal approach helps everyone adapt to the changes, employees and upper management are not segregated here.

Employees are considered as people, and by doing so you inspire loyalty and better performance, strengthening work bonds and performance.

What's bad about it

There are no real actionable steps, no set timeline or conditions for moving from one stage to another. It is more of a transition checklist helping your employees than a step-by-step guide on implementing change.

How to use this checklist

At the beginning of this checklist, you will be presented with a set of specialized questions given as form fields. You are required to populate each form field with your data.

The checklist is broken down into the three stages of Bridge's transition model:

  • Stage 1 - Ending, losing and letting go
  • Stage 2 - The neutral zone
  • Stage 3 The new beginning

At the end of each stage, your supervisor/manager will review your work using Process Street's approvals feature. Other features used in this template include: 

  • Stop tasks - To ensure task order.
  • Dynamic due dates - To make sure your initiative is reviewed on time.
  • Role assignment - To delegate tasks within your team ensuring your supervisors are appropriately assigned to the review tasks.
  • Approvals - Tasks can be accepted, rejected, and rejected with comments.

Record checklist details

In this Bridges Transition Model Process Checklist, you will be presented with the following form fields for which you are required to populate with your specific data. More information for each form field type is provided via linkage to our help pages:

Let's start by recording your business details, your details, and the details of your supervisor or manager.

This is a stop task, meaning you cannot progress in this template until the required form fields are populated.

Business details
Your details
Details of Manager/Supervisor
Checklist details

Once set, the due dates for each phase in this Bridges Transition Model Process Checklist will be used to set a dynamic due date, notifying your manager for the needed stage approval when required.

Overview the changes to be made

Use this section to provide an overview of the changes to be made.

Start by detailing the changes to be made using the long-text form field provided. Next, state why the change is important, and any difficulties/road-blocks to change you might encounter.

This is vital information you need to be clear on before implementing the Bridges Transition Model for change.

Stage 1 - Ending, losing, and letting go:

Schedule stage 1 meeting

The ending, losing and letting go stage is about guiding your employees through the emotions that change will inevitably bring. For this, you need effective communication.  For effective communication, begin by setting up an initial meeting.

Select a date for this meeting using our date form field. This will utilize our dynamic due date feature, pinging you and the participating members a reminder a day before the meeting.

There is also an option to select the participants to attend this meeting using our members form field.

Plan stage 1 meeting

Once you have scheduled the stage 1 meeting, the next stage is to plan this meeting, to make sure all bases are covered.

You are presented with our long text form fields to guide you through this planning stage:

  1. Identify who is likely to lose what with the change.
  2. Clarify why an ending is needed.
  3. Define clearly what is ending and what isn't.
  4. Mark the ending.
  5. Provide a summary of the state of current affairs. Identify the problem.
  6. Summarize the changes you propose which will improve upon the current situation.
  7. Summarize the benefits of the proposed changes to drive the point home.

You are then presented with our subtask form field. Check off the task on completion. This task ensures that you have evidence supporting your addressing need for change.

During the meeting, you need to communicate how the employee's skills and knowledge will transfer to new activities. Note down your thoughts on this using the long-text form field below.

During the meeting, you will ask employees and managers to identify and note down the feelings instigated from the proposed changes. An emphasis on listening and communicating emotions is needed.

Run stage 1 meeting

It is now time to run your stage 1 meeting.

This is a stop task meaning you cannot proceed in this checklist until stage 1 meeting has been conducted.

Make sure you fill out the following long-text form fields to record employee and upper management's thoughts and emotions regarding the proposed changes.

It is important to mark the end of the current state of affairs during this meeting.

Whilst addressing feedback make sure to combat fears and anxieties by helping individuals understand the positive outcome the change will bring.

Assign a mentor

Make sure that anyone who needs to can reach out to a support channel. Assigning a mentor is a great way to support your employees through the changing period.

Approval: Stage 1

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Assign a mentor
    Will be submitted
  • Run stage 1 meeting
    Will be submitted

Stage 2 - The neutral zone:

Understand the neutrality zone

The neutral zone is the bridge between the old and the new. During this time, the productivity of your employees is likely to be at its lowest, with the temptation for them to give up and revert.

To effectively manage change, you need to understand these emotions and lowered productivity. Check off the tasks in the subtask form field below to acknowledge understanding.

  • 1
    I understand that change will negatively impact employee productivity
  • 2
    I understand there will be a strong temptation for employees to give up and revert
  • 3
    I understand the change will be resisted, and a positive and proactive response must be undertaken
  • 4
    I understand that others will not be as enthusiastic for change as I am
  • 5
    I understand to avoid "pep-talks" before individuals are ready for them

Adapt for change

Adapt your organization to account for the changes made. Follow the subtask form field below to guide you through this process:

  • 1
    Protect staff from further changes or cluster the changes in a meaningful way
  • 2
    Create temporary roles, reporting relationships and organizational structures if needed
  • 3
    Identify resources to help navigate the changing circumstances, for instance, special training programs
  • 4
    Encourage creating thinking and discussion
  • 5
    Provide an environment for staff to take risks, without having the fear of being punished for failures

Schedule stage 2 meeting

In the neutrality stage, you will face a lot of resistance to the changes implemented. 

You need to deal with this resistance proactively and productively.

Setting up a meeting during the neutrality stage with all relevant departments/groups and employees impacted by the imposed changes is the best way to guide your team through this stage. 

Select a date for this meeting using our date form field. This will utilize our dynamic due date feature, pinging you and the participating members a reminder a day before the meeting.

There is also an option to select the participants to attend this meeting using our members form field.

Run stage 2 meeting

It is now time to run your stage 2 meeting.

This is a stop task meaning you cannot proceed in this checklist until stage 1 meeting has been conducted.

Make sure you fill out the following long-text form fields to record employee and upper management's thoughts and emotions regarding the proposed changes.

"Nothing so undermines organizational change as the failure to think through the losses people face" - William Bridges

Once you have identified issues and causes of change resistance, it's time to do something about it. Make sure you communicate the following:

  • 1
    Give your team wider context on how they're doing, to help them solve problems they encounter
  • 2
    Identify short-term wins to capitalize on

Approval: Stage 2

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Run stage 2 meeting
    Will be submitted

Stage 3 - The new beginning:

Set objectives and define a reward scheme

During the new beginning stage, changes have been accepted and the energy is high.

During this stage, you want to keep objectives clear so that change is reinforced and to keep up the pace of change. Use the long-text form field below to clearly state the objectives of change.

You want to reward the relevant team members and departments, especially those who championed the change. This reinforces that your goals were handled well and were the right thing to do in the first place.

Use the long text form field to define your reward scheme.

Approval:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Set objectives and define a reward scheme
    Will be submitted

Schedule stage 3 meeting

To communicate the objective and reward schemes set up a stage 3 meeting with the relevant employees and departments.

Select a date for this meeting using our date form field. This will utilize our dynamic due date feature, pinging you and the participating members a reminder a day before the meeting.

There is also an option to select the participants to attend this meeting using our members form field.

Run stage 3 meeting

It is now time to run your stage 3 meeting.

This is a stop task meaning you cannot proceed in this checklist until the stage 3 meeting has been conducted.

Make sure you communicate defined objectives and the reward scheme.

Defined objectives:  {{form.Stage_3_objectives}}

Reward scheme:  {{form.Stage_3_defined_reward_scheme}}

Add new objectives to prevent complacency and continue to drive change.

Harness the new beginnings

  • 1
    Work with your staff to identify the part they will play in the new system, once the changes have been implemented
  • 2
    Create ways to involve staff by creating strategies and action plans for every phase of the transition process
  • 3
    Ensure that policies, procedures, and priorities are consistent with the new beginning that is being created
  • 4
    Build your self-awareness of your actions to ensure you are effectively modeling the new attitudes and behaviors asked of others
  • 5
    Recognize staff for thr contributions and quick wins in the new ways of doing business
  • 6
    Celebrate signs and early wins during the new beginnings

Approval: Stage 3

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Run stage 3 meeting
    Will be submitted
  • Harness the new beginnings
    Will be submitted

Sources:

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