How to Manage Employees Resistance to Change Effectively

Resistance to Change

In today’s ever-changing environment, organizations and individuals are non-stop victim of internal and external forces. These forces of change are more powerful than ever due to change in technology, market pressure, globalization, financial crises, economic instability, social thinking, stakeholder’s expectations and political environment.

Change has become an unavoidable phenomenon and necessity for organizational survival and effectiveness rather than an idea, because the forces of change have revised the rule to stay in the game of business world.

In present scenario, the only certainty is change, change and countless change both at individual and organizational level. Therefore, if organizations resist or fails to manage these environmental demands and challenges of external and internal forces, failure is about to happen.

Changing the organizational structure is not an easy process; ‘only about a third of all such transformations succeed’ according to study. There are many factors behind organizational failure; however resistance to change is perceived as the most potential threat and main cause of failure during CM process.

What is Change?

The word ‘change’ has different meanings and definitions within its context. Change refers to making something different from its initial position. From the individual point of view, change can be defined as ‘survival and need’. From organizational point of view change is the movement of an organization away from its present state and toward some desired future state to increase its effectiveness.

Resistance to Change

RTC has been documented as the most frequent problem faced by CM agents while introducing and implementing change initiatives. The term ‘RTC’ has the different meaning within its context. The recent research on RTC has much focus on individual behavior. This behavior can be either negative or positive towards OC efforts. It can be best described as a ‘deviant behavior’ to truncate the process of change implementation.

Causes of Employees Resistance to Change

Uncertainty: Employees or individuals prefer stability and are determined to stay at their old routines. Uncertainty is considered the main cause for the resistance during CM initiatives because of the uncertain future and present benefits.

Lack of Convention that Change is needed: Actually individuals do not consider that change is appropriate for the organisation and as a result they resist.

Loss of Control: An imperfect present seems better than the unknown future. So the loss of control over existing benefits prevents people to welcome change.

Disturbance of Social network: Change creates disturbance in existing social networks and employees perceive it as contrary to their benefits and present status quo, therefore they resist.

How to Manage employees Resistance to Change

According to Lucy “Winning the hearts and minds of their staff is an important objective for progressive companies but it would seem that they are failing, as the failure rate for major transitions continues to be very high.”

Communication and Negotiation: The communication gap is also a major cause of change failure. Communication is the first step to understand new corporate strategies and to prevent employee’s resistance during the organisational change process. Therefore, it is very necessary to tell about change why it is necessary before launching.

Facilitation and Participation: Change agents can increase the probability of employees’ commitment toward change initiatives by communication, participation and involvement. In fact, facilitation and participation are very critical for managing change because people have insufficient information about change and feel that they can’t make the needed adjustment to fulfil the requirements of change.

Education and Training: Sometimes change required new skills and prior knowledge, therefore people oppose it. By providing education and necessary training, change leaders overcome RTC.

Motivation and Reward: By creating the sense of urgency and motivation for change that change is necessary and beneficial for all in terms of money and benefits, management can overcome RTC as motivation and reward can aspire employees to achieve business goals.

To be conclusions in organizational Context change should be discussed, planned and proactive rather than unplanned change. Because if change is unplanned, employees will not be able to prepare themselves for change and as a result they will resist.

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