10 Ways To Overcome Resistance To Change in the Workplace

Strategies To Overcome Resistance To Change

We all know that change is good as well as necessary but when it comes to business, organizations face different obstacles while implementing it. The obstacles may be from the side of employees and the organization too.

It is necessary to overcome such obstacles of resistance to change. You should be thoughtful to understand these resistant factors and find solutions to them. Overcoming them is necessary for successful operations and timely organization goal achievement.

The following are some most common reasons for resistance to change.

  • Work Habits of Employees
  • Fear of Job Loss
  • Fear of Leaving Comfort Zone
  • Fear of Unknown
  • Lack of Training
  • The Climate of Mistrust
  • Fear of Failure
  • Economic Factors
  • Group Inertia
  • Structure Inertia
  • Lack of Resources

Learn More: 11 Causes of Resistance To Change

Let’s discuss some of the strategies that you can use to overcome these causes of resistance to change in your organization.

Inform Why The Change Is Taking Place

One of the main reasons employees resist change is that they are unaware of the change and what it will bring when initiated. It is a common phenomenon of human resisting something which is unknown to us.

Inform your employees about the change and the objectives of the change. And, explain to them why this change is beneficial for them and the organization.

Increase Participation

Employees frequently oppose change because they feel their opinions are unimportant and won’t have any influence on the choice to change the organization.

Involve the workforce in the decision-making process for the change, then allow them to debate and develop the best plan for implementation.

Related: Participative Management

Communicate Frequently

Communication is key for you to keep your employees informed about what is going on with the change. Use different formal and informal communication channels to ensure that all employees are informed about the update.

Build an Environment of Trust and Confidence

When there is mistrust between and among employees and managers they do not believe each other. They do not believe in each other’s tasks, opinions, and ideas.

The organization is a system of subsystems – for its success, all subsystems should work collectively. As a manager, you should develop an environment of trust and confidence by resolving conflicting factors between them. And, they should have a sense of collective working.

Related: Inclusive Workplace

Promote Teamwork

After, developing a healthy working environment also develops teams to implement change. Provide tasks and duties to team members that are acceptable, allow for the development of the individual and the group, and effectively utilize their skills.

Such a close working relationship among team members will encourage them to participate in the change process.

Resolve Conflicts As Soon As Possible

Conflicts are common in the organization. During the change process team members may feel overburdened, feel anxiety, and over-pressurized. In such situations, conflicts arise between or within the team.

It is necessary to identify the causes of such conflicts as soon as possible. And, they should be resolved before they become major issues in the organization.

Be Supportive

Employees may feel anxious and fearful because of a lack of knowledge about the change. As a manager, you can be supportive in many ways for employees to overcome or minimize resistance to change.

This includes providing counseling, interacting with them, understanding their reasons for resistance, offering emotional support, and enhancing new skills. This further helps to develop a good understanding between employees and managers.

Manipulation and Cooptation

Manipulation involves presenting information in a tactful way to increase the enthusiasm of employees to accept it. It is usually done by distorting the facts to make them more attractive.

Whereas, cooptation includes both manipulation and participation. In cooptation, the leader of the resistance group is appointed as a leader to implement the change.

Usually, managers do not apply this method to overcome resistance to change. However, it is done when employees do not accept the change easily or as it is. One disadvantage of this method is that when employees know about the fact it affects the employee-management relationship.

Coercion or Threatening

If every other strategy mentioned above of overcoming resistance to change in the workplace fails, coercion or threatening strategy would be useful.

Coercion includes direct threats to employees who resist the change. The manager uses this strategy when all other strategies fail and he has to implement change immediately.

During the coercion, usually, employees are given two options either to accept the change or leave the job. It is a risky method to bring change in the organization, however, it has both positive and negative impacts.

Evaluate and Follow-Up the Performance

As evaluation makes it possible for organizations to understand how a change’s implementation affects overall business performance, it is a critical component of the organizational change process. If something doesn’t go according to plan, there is still time to fix it or add it to the next step in carrying out the change.

Read Next: 33 Qualities of a Good Leader

Leave a Comment