Every single organization changes, from 1 – 10,000 employees. Read on to see why employees resist and how to get them on-board with your plan.
“All organizations experience periods of much-needed change in order to achieve the results they need to grow, compete and win. Changing or improving the company or team requires focus, accountability, and consistency. And it must be led from the top. Without total and complete buy-in from the senior leadership team the desired change will fail to be achieved.” says Brent Cleeson with Forbes (1).
Consider the following possible concerns:(2)
- Loss of status or job security – Without a thoughtful change strategy to address resistance to change, you will trigger strong resistance and organizational turnover.
- Poorly aligned reward systems – As the saying goes, managers get what they reward. without a reward for your team, there is no motivation for them to support your change over the long term.
- Surprise and fear of the unknown – The less your team knows about the organizational changes you’re planning and its impact, the more fearful they become.
- Peer pressure – As the psychologist Abraham Maslow discussed, the need to belong to a group is a powerful need in the workplace. If your change effort threatens these workplace social bonds, some of your team members may resist your change efforts.
- The climate of mistrust – Trust is a fragile asset that is easily harmed, it involves faith in the intentions and behavior of your organization’s hierarchy.
- Fear of failure – Fear is a powerful motivator that can harden people’s intent to resist your efforts to implement change. If you want your change effort to be successful, you’ll need to help your team members move beyond these fears.
- Faulty implementation approach – Team members may agree with the change you want to implement but they may not agree with how you are going about making the change.
Resistance is a fact of organizational change, now what are you going to do about it?
The “buy-in” of the innovators and early adopters in your organization is critical to change, big or small.
Engage your employees – employee engagement is both an emotional commitment and a willingness to give one’s best at work. Employee engagement is a valuable tool during the decision process but you also have an incredible opportunity to engage staff during the implementation process and the effect will be better than you bargained for. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about the rewards that team building and staff empowerment have on productivity. Get your team involved!
Understand that resistance is inevitable and move forward with that understanding. Build a strategic plan to help your team perceive your changes in a positive way and to change anyone with a negative perception over to your way of thinking. Ensure your team has a true understanding with at least a perceived amount of control and you are well on your way.