Successful change is measured by the ability of people to accept and move towards the desired vision, therefore greater focus on the individual within the process is imperative. By realistically identifying what is creating the resistance, then developing a plan with supportive actions for overcoming these barriers, you are more likely to succeed in implementing and sustaining the change.

Are you feeling resistance to change?

As the cycle of change unfolds various waves of emotion can occur; those feelings and emotions may show up externally or remain covert. In the workplace, change initiatives: whether driven by process, structure, location or personality, impact each person differently. This then creates a variety of reactions, emotions and challenges for managers to try to understand, acknowledge and manage. As an HR or Business Manager there are times you may feel alone as you swim upstream in the tumultuous waves of business change.

Change is constant and our ability to nimbly adapt is increasingly relevant.

Successfully sustaining change requires an understanding of, and ability to navigate, the human landscape. Whether in a work environment or from a personal aspect of life, the human landscape includes judgements, perceptions, assumptions, resistance, fears, aspirations, beliefs and values.

Acknowledging that change is transitional is a necessary psychological process needed for each person to recognise, accept and adapt to the new way. It’s also the first step to forming new expectations that can lead to success within the new landscape. More than ever our professional and private landscapes are merging, so whether you are approaching change from a business or personal perspective, understanding the transition and accepting the process stages needed to adapt to the new way has considerable bearing on achieving and sustaining the desired outcome(s).

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What do people need to support them adjusting to change?

Three types of energy are required to make these adjustments in expectations:

Mental – to figure out what is happening and how to respond
Emotional – to deal with various feelings like: loss, anxiety, threat, relief, joy, optimism etc.
Physical – to accommodate the bodily implications of stress: fear, excitement, etc.

People are most likely to resist change when:

  • The change seems unnecessary, nothing seems broken, current status quo is preferred
  • They fear loss of security, financial, freedom, status, knowledge etc.
  • There has been a lack of communication or inconsistent messages as to what is happening
  • They lack faith or confidence in those initiating and driving the change
  • They are numbly comfortable

Are you open to listening?

By clearly, continually and consistently providing communications, first outlining, then detailing what is being proposed, organisations pursuing major change can encourage and persuade employees early in the process, leading to reduced resistance to the change accompanied by higher engagement and acceptance. When communication is two-way, you’ll develop a greater understanding of people’s fears of the change and that knowledge will better inform your planning and longer term strategy.

By really listening to your people and acknowledging their feedback, you can gain insightful understanding of potential risks and resistance factors which could impede the change process.

Working alongside you, your managers or individual contributors, Peoplism will support you in developing a plan tailored to your needs and aimed at achieving your desired outcome. Using internationally recognised change methodology tools we will guide you, your managers and your employees in developing strategies to support making and sustaining the change transition, encouraging your people to maintain constructive and timely communication throughout the process.

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