What to Do When Employees Resist Change

Change is an inevitable part of business. When done right, change enables growth, innovation and progress. However, despite the potential benefits of change, it is common for employees to resist it. Employee resistance to change is never good for a company seeking to reach its potential. As a leader, you know that your team needs to be on board if you want to achieve your goals and achieve the organization’s vision. Understanding why employees resist change is essential for leaders to effectively manage the change process and ensure a smooth transition.

Whether you are communicate with employees to return to work, or implementing new software, introducing changes to the workplace can create a chaotic work environment for unprepared employees. To ensure success, employers must exercise patience and compassion with employees as they learn to navigate new situations. In this article, we’ll explore what to do when employees resist change.

Why employees resist change

There are many factors that come into play when determining whether changes in the workplace will be successful or complicated. It’s no big secret that change can be hard for people to handle, although some personalities tend to adapt better than others. Some employees will welcome changes with open arms, while others may offer some resistance.

The number one reason why employees resist change at work is due to a lack of understanding of the details of the change. Many employees understand the general change taking place, but still don’t know how it directly affects them and their work. Often this is a problem related to insufficient communication.

Many employees may respond with hesitation or frustration to the simple announcement of upcoming changes. You have to handle this situation delicately to keep everyone on the same page. Some tactics can be used to help everyone make the transition without losing your worker though workers resistant to change.

Listen to their concerns

One of the most important things to do to help employees adapt to change is to simply be an effective listener. Whether it’s an anonymous system like feedback sheets or group brainstorming sessions, all of your employees should have a say in the changes that are being made. Encourage employees to ask questions and be prepared for them to express their feelings about these adjustments.

Listening to your employees not only helps you better connect with them, but can also improve overall performance at work. 74% of employees they report being more effective in their work when they feel listened to by employers. Productivity doesn’t have to decrease during changes in the workplace, and it won’t if your employees feel valued.

Try individual and group meetings

If you’ve noticed that tensions are high since the announcement of an upcoming change, or if employees seem to have lost momentum, it may be time to consider holding a meeting. There are several ways to do this, including one-on-one private meetings or alternatively, group meetings.

One-on-one discussions are more personal. An employee may experience social pressure in a group setting and therefore may feel uncomfortable expressing certain opinions around others. In a one-on-one setting, however, they may warm up and feel more inclined to speak freely.

This style of meeting is most effective when hosted in a private location in a “neutral zone.” A “neutral zone” is any place not considered the territory of a party. For example, it would be better to have this meeting in a place other than one person’s office, but a private area separate from your work spaces.

On the other hand, group meetings can also be a way to start lively conversations about changes at work. In a group setting, it’s important to establish a judgment-free space where employees can speak openly. Group discussions make it easy to answer questions for everyone in the room, and employees can also interact with each other dynamically.

The best way to make sure everyone is comfortable with these changes is to alternate between these two methods. Some people respond better to being addressed individually and others respond better to group settings where they can bounce ideas off of peers. Using both methods of communicating with employees it can help you make the most of the situation around you.

Involve them in the process

Instead of forcing change on your employees and abandoning them, try to actively involve them in the change process. For example, if your company is changing its benefits packages, you can have employees suggest options as a group or vote on various items. When employees feel they have a voice, they are more empowered and more motivated to get through the adjustment period.

Here are some ways to involve them in the process:

  • Solicit feedback from employeesk: One of the best ways to involve employees in the change process is to ask for their feedback. You can do this through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one conversations. Asking employees what they think about the changes being made and how they will be affected can help increase engagement and involvement.
  • Create a “change team” of chief employees: Establish a change management team that includes employees from different levels and departments. This can be an effective way to involve employees in the change process. This team can help identify potential roadblocks and develop solutions that work for everyone.
  • Offer employee-to-employee training: Change often requires new skills and knowledge. It allows employees to coach and train each other in some areas.
  • Empower employees to make decisions: Give employees the autonomy to make decisions that affect their work. This can help them approach the change and feel more invested in the outcome.

Change of stages

The more sudden the onset of change, the more difficult it will be for employees to adapt. This means that you will experience more resistance. Planning ahead and allowing enough time for these changes to take hold can change the success rate of your goals. One way to facilitate this process is to employ what is known as change management.

Change management is the process of taking company changes from vision to reality in the most seamless way possible. Many companies assign a small group of individuals to manage these changes and ease the transition for others. Part of this process means slowing down the process and implementing the overall project goals across multiple departments at work.

When change management is successfully implemented, 81% of these new projects come in on or under budget; that is, pacing the transition responsibly can make or break the success of your goal. You can learn more about change management here.

Understand skills gaps

By now, as a leader, you understand that your employees have skill gaps in some areas. Skills gaps occur when employees lack the necessary skills, knowledge, or experience to perform their job duties at the desired level of proficiency. This is also true when it comes to adapting to change. Some employees will respond better than others. For some, learning and change will come quickly and easily. For others, it may take a while.

Identifying and addressing skills gaps is essential to the success of the change you are implementing. If you notice that some employees are struggling more than others, it’s important to respond quickly. Once identified, skills gaps can be addressed through training and development programs, mentoring or coaching, job shadowing or other forms of on-the-job training.

Be patient with those employees who are most resistant to change. You can also ask employees who are responding well to help those who are struggling.

Reward and celebrate progress

As you and your team navigate these new changes in the workplace, there may be bumps and roadblocks to overcome. It’s important as an employer to encourage your employees to provide feedback and reward their input and progress.

Set clear goals that everyone can work toward to facilitate the new project, and when employees reach milestones, make sure they feel recognized and appreciated. Not only can this create a more positive outlook towards existing changes, but it can also motivate employees to have a more entrepreneurial mindset. More than 91% of HR professionals We believe that recognition and rewards improve company retention.

As these changes progress, employees motivated by encouragement and recognition will associate these changes with these positive experiences. This can help everyone get through the initial adjustment period with a good attitude and excitement about the future of the company.


Change does not come naturally to everyone. But it often finds its way to us whether we are ready to accept it or not. In the workplace, change is often considered disruptive. Although, it doesn’t have to be that way. With patient and empathetic management, employers and employees can achieve successful change. This will help keep your employees loyal in the company throughout the change process.

Read also:

7 reasons why employees resist change

Ari Bratsis

Staff Writer: Ari is a writer, blogger, and small business owner based in Washington State.

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Item tags:

Company Culture · Featured · Find Your Way · Grow Your Business · Leadership · Productivity

Article categories:

Find your way · Grow your business · Lead your team · Productivity · Your mindset

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Change can be a difficult thing for any organization to go through, but it is essential for a company to stay competitive and stay ahead of the game. It’s no surprise, however, that not all employees feel the same way – some may show resistance. As a leader, it is important to understand the reasons behind this resistance so that the transition can go as smoothly as possible. This is particularly true when the change has to do with technology, as is often the case. That’s why it’s important for any company, including Ikaroa, to have a plan for when employees resist change.

The first step to overcoming resistance to change is to actively engage with employees. No matter the size of the organization, it is important to hear from staff members during the change. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and allows staff to voice their concerns. Encourage open dialogue with clear objectives and make sure everyone understands how their work will be affected starting from the very beginning.

In addition, it is important to quickly make changes when needed. It is important to determine what worked in the past and what new technology needs to be implemented to help the organization move forward. Listen to the feedback of your employees, particularly those who have been in the organization the longest, on how the changes can be implemented more smoothly.

It is also important to solicit support from other departments to ensure that change is implemented across the board. With tools like Ikaroa, organizations can easily manage cross-departmental projects in order to maximize efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Finally, be sure to provide ongoing training to employees who are affected by the change. Offer opportunities to gain new skills, such as online courses and workshops, to ensure that the learning curve is not too steep. Ikaroa offers comprehensive training plans and resources to help employees embrace change in their roles.

Change is inevitable, and it is important for organizations to understand how to successfully manage it. By actively engaging with employees, quickly addressing issues that emerge, seeking support from other departments, and providing ongoing training, organizations like Ikaroa ensure that their employees can easily adapt and benefit from the changes.


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