Addressing resistance to organizational change

For most, change is not an easy thing. The fear of the unknown mixed with uncertain job security can cause many within an organization to wish to retain the status quo. Agents of change within an organization must anticipate this natural fear, and work towards engaging the individuals expressing concern in a positive way.

The road to effective organizational change management is rarely without speed bumps. It can be a dirty process, but change managers must roll up their sleeves and face resistance with confidence and persistence. 

The first step in getting resistors on board with change is tackling the immediate questions on their minds: the who, how and why. It is critical for the workforce to understand how they will be impacted by the new direction, and that their contributions are welcome in shaping the new future of the organization. If not already aware, they should be informed on the market changes that require a response from the organization, and why change is necessary to increase competitiveness. 

The importance of dispelling fears can not be overstated. Even passive resistance can jeopardize success, as 'checked out' employees represent a significant drain on an organization's resources. If enough workers share negative emotions regarding change, their desire to preserve the status quo often results in change not taking root. 

To win over these pockets of resistance, employees must be aware that training will be available to help them adjust to the new way of doing things. The support of leadership in acclimating to change can convert many into agents of change themselves. 

During times of uncertainty, employees will look to their management and leadership for cues on how to act. If leadership displays uncertainty or any emotions other than excited confidence, fear of change can quickly blossom into resistance. 

Change management consulting can ensure that your organization has the experienced leadership necessary to move in the right direction.