Change is about improving things and doing away with strategies and beliefs that don’t work. Changes in our line of work can take us to or help us stay on top of our game. In this context—and in an ideal world—people should be excited about changes and welcome them with open arms.
But in the real world, people tend to shrink from it; most people fear it because they have been so used to doing the same thing. Some people resist change because the unfamiliarity scares them so much that they get stranded in the same phase — in life and in business. Or that taking on something new challenges their competence to its very core.
Below are top five reasons why people resist change and how you can counter them.
1. Too Much Work Involved
Change requires a lot of work. In an organisational change, people have to learn new systems, processes, and even new tools that are different from what they have been using.
To counter this, the leader or the decision maker must effectively communicate the need for change. A sufficient explanation to the employees is necessary, emphasising that old strategies or procedures no longer work and have even become counter-productive. Employees must understand that there is a need for a change in order to remain relevant in the business, and thus, succeed.
And success for the company means success for everyone.
Employees see changes and they are uncertain of its results. Uncertainty is one scary monkey.
To counter this thought, employers must talk to the employees on where their anxieties and uncertainties are coming from. These anxieties must be resolved point by point.
3. What’s In It For Me?
Sometimes employees believe that changes are good for the organisation but not necessarily for the individual members. Teams usually don’t see the big picture and only think about their own concerns. An employee’s concern usually revolves around his own welfare. Let’s face it. Employees do not usually care about the status of the entire organisation, unless it directly affects them.
To counter this dilemma, employers must point out the benefits of the changes to the individual members. A good leader must be able to paint the big picture, determine how the changes affect the whole organisation and the individual members that keep it going.
4. Bad Experiences
Sometimes people do understand the need for change but are reluctant to submit themselves because of past experiences that may not have had favourable results. If the proposed changes often fail, employees will be cynical about its necessity.
To counter this reluctance, employers must explain that although changes in the past were unsuccessful, they were no doubt tried and tested with the intention of improving the overall status of the entire organisation. There is simply no shortcut to success. Everything and everyone must do their best to try something new. And not getting everyone to participate could lead to more failure.
5. If It Ain’t Broke …
Sometimes employees simply don’t see the necessity for change. If the old system works, why change it?
The times are always changing. To think otherwise would be to give in to competition and become obsolete in an industry. A good leader must be able to make his team relate to changes. Employees must be made to see that the environment outside the organisation is changing and the organization must take heed.
To ignore the changing times, whether it’s in technology or the market, is counter-productive. Employees must understand that no matter how difficult change might be, it simply has to be done.