As societies continues to evolve each breaking day, change in demands for new services and products force companies to make changes in different departments in order to overcome competition. The company that is usually able to stay in the market for long is the one that is exceedingly flexible to adapt new methods and measures of overcoming changes.
The factors that can force companies to re-evaluate its strategies and methods of operation include competition, technology, and desire for growth; need to upgrade processes, and government regulations. However, resistance to change in an organization is a perception that mainly describe a group’s or an individual’s psychological tendency to maintain and protect the status quo. Change is incredibly dynamic, and thus organizations should always embrace it; however, people have a nature of resisting to embrace changes. In many cases, new implementations are resisted mainly because people are usually afraid of facing the unknown consequences brought about by change. Since, change is usually an everyday essential part of almost all organizational dynamics, employees who usually resist embracing change can cripple an organization (SMIT, 2007).
Whether the change to be implemented will be dealing with small objective or the crucial objective, the change manager should be ready to deal with resistance. This readiness enables the manager to deal with the objection efficiently. Resistance to change mainly takes many forms, which include active resistance- in this case employees usually object to embrace change or even refuse to cooperate in the implementation of the new ideas.
The other form of resistance is subtle- in this case, employees may agree to cooperate in the implementation of the changes, but they fail to put any effort toward accomplishing the goals. This essay will apparently explain the concept of resistance to change in depth and various examples of resistance to change and remedies will be clearly outlined. In addition, the possible examples of change resistance will be confronted especially when implementing new ideas in a large system.
It is usually not possible to identify all basis of opposition to change. Nevertheless, the knowledge that there will be resistance in the process of embracing change in an organization and being prepared to deal with it efficiently is a proactive step that the organization should clinch on. The change manager should always be very keen to be able to indicate behavioral change among employees that may suggest resistance and address them efficiently. When a new idea is implemented the classical psychological reaction among employees follows the following sequence; denial, anger, confusion, depression, crisis, acceptance, and lastly new confidence (SMIT, 2007).
Reasons as to Why People Resist Embracing the new Changes
Leadership is primarily all about change, and what matters most is the way they handle resistance to make sure that it dies not sabotage the operations of the organization. Resistances to accept change usually manifest itself in different ways from foot-dragging, inertia to petty disruption, and lastly outright rebellion. Some of the most common causes of rebellion include:
Change within all organization mainly starts with the top management. Information should move from the top to down, the top manager should ensure that all complaints and questions asked by the employees are handled first before implementation of the proposed change. However, in many cases the process of passing the information downward, the details many are distorted thus the people on the ground end up receiving second hand information, which is extremely inaccurate. Thus, this may be a major cause of resistance to change (BOTTEN, 2009).
Ego often obstructs the capability to adapt change. In some cases, some employees usually tend to uphold the status quo so as they can be in a position to achieve their own personal motives and agendas. The employees who usually work in their own accord, instead of working toward achieving the set goal in the organization usually tend to be in the front line to resist change (SMITH, KELLY, & NOWACKI, 2004).
Most successful organization usually involves employees in decision making mainly before implementation of any major change. In cases, where employees notices sudden changes in the organization without being given a chance to air their ideas makes them feel excluded from decision making. This feeling of being excluded may give them a notion that they are not of great importance in the company’s progress measures. In addition, the employees may resist working towards achieving the new set goals (BRAET, 2009).
Lack of Trust
Trust mainly plays a major role in running an organization successfully. When organization members and department lack trust among each other, it becomes very difficult to accept any organizational changes. If a company tries to implement changes, the employees may think that the changes are as a result of some underlying negative reasons; thus they will be very reluctant to accept working towards achieving a common goal (CUMMINGS, & WORLEY, 2009).
Fear of the Unknown
This is one of the main and major reasons as to why employees fail to embrace change. People embrace change only when active genuine steps toward the unknown results are taken, and mostly if the risks seem more promising than working towards only one direction (SMIT, 2007).
Lack of Competence
This is one of the key factors as to why many employees usually fear to adopt change in their workplaces because; implementation of change is usually accompanied by new skills. This makes some employees feel less adequate to make the changes very well.
This is a universal challenge because change usually means more work. Those closest in the process of implementation usually experience work overload; thus people will tend to resist change because of fear of working for long hours (SMIT, 2007).
Change is usually exceptionally resisted because it can hurt; when new technologies displaces old ones; jobs may be lost; prices can be reduced, and in many cases investments can be dismissed. For instance, when a company plans to introduce new systems and technology into various departments; this makes groups within the company to experience intimidation in their area of expertise. The most recommendable option that managers can put in place when implementing new changes that poses the threat to the employees include transparency, honesty and fairness (MAGUIRE, 2007).
The organizational hindrance to change include
There are several barriers to change that mainly affect the organizational level, it is very important to address these barriers before implementing the change these mainly reduces the level of resistance posed by the employees.
These barriers include.
Undefined objectives and goals
The organization is supposed to explain continually the objectives and goals, to specify performance and outlining roles. For example, this is usually very general when employers give the employees a lot of freedom and broad ambitions such as ‘imagine outside the box’ or ‘be creative’, management should be very specific and explain in details what they exactly want the employees to do (JUDGE, 2011).
Financial and Environmental
Lack of enough working capital in an organization can hinder an organization from implementing new changes because, new changes is mainly accompanied by new expenses. In cases like these redundancies is almost inevitable. Lack of capital in the organization can be mainly being due to: rise in competition, a markedly fall in market demand, or even in cases where there is a trading disaster (SENGUPTA, 2006).
Lack of Resources
Lack of resources can be as a result of financial or environmental crisis, however, lack of resources can be caused by failure of the manager to implement and make sound decisions. Bad allocation of resources such as time, money, staff, and machinery may cripple the process of implementing the new change. Managers are thus required to use their imagination properly so that they can avoid putting the whole organization in problem (BRAET, 2009).
An organization that usually follows the traditional structure of management tends to resist adopting change more than the companies that use the flat structure of management. In addition, communication between different department and amongst employees is very common in traditional hierarchical structures, and this usually creates a rift between employees and managements (ØYSTEIN SAKSVIK, 2009).
Discipline and reward as tools towards achieving set organizational change
These are the main tools used by the managers to control employees within the organization, and thus these two are of great significance in the process of implementing change. According to some authors, the use of reward strategy can be very effective in generating and leveraging change. This is accomplished by valuing and evaluating behaviors and specific output, evaluating values necessary to deliver the company’s strategy, to promote and to introduce desired culture in the organization, and the most important thing is to motivate employees so as they can be ready to embrace change.
In addition, Machiavelli argues that these are the two main ways through which managers can be able to convince employees to embrace organizational change and to successfully put them into operation. This form of enticement is called ‘carrot and stick’ the first step is offering incentives and rewards to employees while the second step consist of implementation of disciplinary measures (KLEIN, 2011). Furthermore, disciplinary measures may instill fear to the employees because they may imagine that when they fail to achieve the set standards they will be fired, transferred, or even miss a opportunity of promotions. While at the same time, reduce resistance to change (GREENBERGER, & HENEMAN, 2002).
How to conquer opposition to change in companies
Introduction of change in companies can be extremely demanding; therefore, managers should be able to maintain the status quo efficiently. A successful departmental manager should be able to introduce change even when circumstances are very deal with. Good leaders should be persuasive, confidence, unwavering, thorough, and have good communication skills (MYERS, HULKS, & WIGGINS, 2012). Companies are usually very different; however, there are some best-known practices that can assist to overcome opposition to change. These steps include; the company should inform employees about the new projects and their progress. Secondly, the management should market the new idea to each group and explain in details its importance to the employees. In addition, the management should also make the new set goals very clear to the workers.
Lastly, the change manager should explain how the new project will improve the work of the employees and even make it much easier. The third step consists of involving all the team leaders from different department to participate in the meeting concerning the new project. The fourth steps consist of selecting a commission of change agents so that they can work with the management in implementing the new project. The fifth step deals with coming up with the final report concerning deliverable information. For an instant, the head of the department may come up with one deliverable such as to raise sales by 5% while another one may be to reduce costs of good by 5%. The last step consists of creating main milestones and goals meant to measure the success achieved throughout the year (HINDEN, STURM, & TEEGARDEN, 2013).
The management should always be very ready to deal with resistance because, it is globally expected that when a new project is introduced employees will always be very reluctant to embrace change. In addition, companies should always use effective communication methods so as to reduce tension within different companies and also information should always be first hand so as to avoid distortion. Furthermore, rewards and praises should be given to workers so as to entice them to adapt change without resistance. Corrective actions towards stopping resistance to change in every department in the organization are very effective towards achieving the new set goals. Lastly, rewards and disciplinary method are the best known ways of achieving success in new projects.
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- BOTTEN, N. (2009). E3 – Enterprise strategy: strategic level. Oxford, U.K., CIMA Publishing/Elsevier.
- BRAET, J. (2009). The proceedings of the 4th European Conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation: the University of Antwerp, Belgium, 10 – 11 September 2009. Reading, Academic Publ.