Getting Employees Unstuck for Change
Some behavioral styles covet, chase, and create change. At the other end of the spectrum are those who appall, avoid, and avert change like the plague. In the middle are those who waver, wait, and watch change before getting on board. What does all this mean to an executive or manager tasked with making change happen?
The first group are your allies and can even help move change along. However, care must be taken that they do not create chaos, especially when change is not on the schedule. The middle group are employees whom you can expect the same from almost no matter what the change. They aren’t budging. This is not a group to spend a lot of time on trying to convince or bring on board. But they may need a change themselves – a change of team, department, or even employment. The last group will cost you time and resources.
On the other hand, this isn’t to say never listen to those who oppose change, they may often bring facts or filters into view that have not been addressed. Irrational fear of change is another story. However, the listening needs to be done ahead of the change not in the middle of it. So, let’s look at some ways you can avoid wasting time and resources when your organization has a change to implement.
- First, think about the timing of the change. It is not a good idea to make changes:
- During a core conversion at a bank (that is change enough)
- At tax time at an accounting firm
- During the “season” at a hospitality organization
- At a retail store during the holidays
- When you know change is coming prepare by initiating and implanting a change model system. Doing this puts you and your change way ahead of the curve.
- Know your employees. Then you will know who is most likely to jump on board, hesitate or balk at change. If they took an assessment upon hire, go look at the data.
- Make people aware of the reason for the change. It’s called communication. No, it’s not giving away all the corporate secrets, it’s called letting people know what’s going on and enlisting their help in the process.
- Help people see the vision the change will bring. This does not mean painting a Pollyanna picture of perfection, but a realistic view of the positives the change can offer.
- Introduce and implement the change at a reasonable and responsible pace.
- Creating a learning culture before the change helps reduce the fear of having to learn something new that often comes with change.
- Understand why people fear change.
- Keep employees in the loop on change progress and their contributions to success.
- Hold people accountable.
Graphic Credit: BigStock.com
Creasey, T. (n.d.). 3 Types of Change-Resistant Employees and How to Engage Them. Prosci.
de Jager, P. (2001 May/June) Resistance to Change: A New View of an Old Problem. The Futurist. Vol. 35 Issue 3, p24.
Hayashi, S.K. (2-17, May). Strategies For Managing Employees Who Resist Chane. Forbes.
Iskat, G.J. & Liebowitz, J. (2013, December). What to Do When Employees Resist Change. Supervision. Vol. 74 Issue 12 P15-17. Retrieved from DeKalb County On-line Library
Wakeman, C. (2009, June). A Guide to Dealing with Resistant Employees. Fast Company.