Many leaders face the challenge of how to deal with resistance to change in the workplace. There are a number of things you can do to ease employees through transitional times.
Before you can understand how to deal with resistance to change in the workplace, it’s important to understand why people balk at change.
- People resist things they don’t understand.
- People don’t like to feel blind-sided.
- Change threatens patterns and routines people are accustomed to.
- Change can offer challenges.
Tips on How to Deal with Resistance to Change in the Workplace
1. Provide sufficient information to your employees about the changes and even offered the opportunity to give input on forth-coming changes.
2. Announce the upcoming changes ahead of time to allow those affected time to adjust.
3. Ensure your employees understand the benefits of the change, and that changes aren’t made simply for change itself. One of the best ways how to deal with resistance to change in the workplace is to foster the understanding that the positive effects of change will outweigh the effort required to implement the change.
4. Provide sufficient training to help your employees adjust to the changes.
Other factors to consider when contemplating how to deal with resistance to change in the workplace:
- In general, people don’t like surprises and they fear the unknown. The solution to this is effective communication.
- Mistrust can also cause issues. Long-term relationships between management and employees can help, but when new leadership steps in and immediately beings implementing changes, their actions can spark resistance.
- Feelings of insecurity are normal for those who face change in their workplace. As a leader planning how to deal with resistance to change in the workplace, make sure your employees understand their role in the new or revised way of doing things.
- Some people just do not like change. Period. While some embrace the excitement and enjoy changes, others are more comfortable with a routine. Reassurance, communication and training are the keys to help those employees transition to the new system.
- If an employee feels their personal interests are threatened, such as position or pay, they will be more likely to resist change. Communicate exactly how each employee fits into the change so they will understand what risks, if any, they are facing.
Learn to spot potential issues when considering how to deal with resistance to change in the workplace.
- Gossip – listen at gathering places and take note of any “alliances” forming to resist the changes you’re implementing.
- Sabotage – Be aware that some who feel threatened by the upcoming changes may feel the need to undermine your goals.
- If you discover such issues, identify those involved and ensure they fully understand how the change will affect them, the benefits of the upcoming changes, and what measures are being taken to ensure a smooth transition.
The main keys to remember dealing with workplace changes include timing (give sufficient notice), communication, training and reassurance. Remember those keys the next time you’re faced with how to deal with resistance to change in the workplace.