Change management is often – almost inseparably – linked to an understanding of communication; how to effectively share relevant information that resonates with stakeholders, understanding how messaging is received, and knowing what the best channels are to ensure you’re being heard.
The reality is that with an understanding of why change is important, the actual change becomes less threatening to your people and more likely to manifest – successfully! So what does this mean for managers?
Help your people make the leap and change with ease
- an absolute need to crystalise the commercial and business motivations behind the change,
- and an ability to effectively communicate these to your people.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 reasons your people resist change and let’s uncover how the right conversations can disarm this.
The top 5 reasons front-line employees resist change
1. No one has shared with them the business reason for the imminent change – Explaining that you’re moving your warehouse out of town only because your current lease has expired, will ease staff frustration at what might seem an unnecessary disturbance.
2. They’re concerned that their jobs are at risk – Reassuring your people that their jobs are not under threat with the new change will empower them to embrace newness with energy, and support the change initiatives.
3. Will they have the required skills to be successful in the future state – Communicating your people’s value to the company is vital is making staff feel secure enough to up-skill, adapt and grow with the company. Letting the team know that you will provide an opportunity for training is crucial. After all, every member of staff - including the senior tier - can add value only if they’re abreast of industry trends, immersed in today’s constantly-evolving world, and developing.
4. They’re happy with the status quo and change has rocked the boat – Most of us enjoy stability and avoid the stress caused by change. Educating your people on the misbelief that the known is the best for their careers or the business will unwrap the possibilities in change and flexible adaptation. Sometimes, a rocked boat is one that’s travelled the high seas, reached exciting shores, and come back with riches.
5. They are likely to be asked to do more for no additional personal benefit – Conveying the continuity of established job expectations will display management’s sensitivity to job roles and respective portfolios. In all change processes, commit to fair remuneration so that your staff commit to you.
Ultimately, being sensitive to the anxieties and concerns of your people will give you insight into their resistances to change. From there, explaining the business objectives for your change, and how these don’t equate to staff fears, will dispel defiance and fuel change.
There are many excellent processes that assist successful change. Leading the change planning process should be the person with the most change management experience, and not necessarily the most senior employee.
Drop me an email if you are about to undergo a significant change. The wood workers' mantra is worth considering: “Measuring twice before you ‘cut’.” It may save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and loads of anxiety.