When it comes to organizational change management, employee resistance is the number one reason companies fail to achieve their goals and objectives. For companies embarking on change initiatives, your strategic priorities should focus on what it will take to change resistant-prone minds. Why? Because nothing will derail a strategic plan faster than confused and panicked employees.
Navigating organizational change starts with acknowledging that no organization is immune to employee resistance. Centuries of Human Behavior and Psychology research tells us that the majority of humans innately thrive on routine and familiarity. That said, we can presume that most employees don’t like change. Their preference? Safe and controlled.
Take your employees’ life experiences, for instance. Experience has shaped our minds to seek paths that promote reliability, trust. These instincts become validations for decision making. We stick with decisions that have worked well in the past and that we are most comfortable with. Ultimately, our brains become influenced to believe that change is the opposite of reliable. Fear quickly moves in.
How successful leaders manage fear
Individual conversations. Managers should be engaged in weekly one-on-one conversations with their employees. This is the most appropriate time to listen for individual concerns and offer help to alleviate fears.
Team meetings. Managers should also be engaged in regular team activities to enhance skill development and productivity results. This is the opportunity to present action planning and communications from senior leadership.
Training and development. An organization that invests in people development on a regular basis will experience far less employee resistance to change. Skill development, after all, teaches that change is critical to growth, opportunity, and success.
The perspective of change is manageable through planning, persistence and patience. Thomas Edison famously wrote “There’s a way to do everything better.” Better = Growth. Ultimately, the role of leadership is to find the personal connection and impactful motivator, between Change and Growth.
When we help employees open their minds to change, we create the opportunity for changed outcomes.
Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com
Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com