Personal change is underpinned by a willingness to change. Personal change is not necessarily easy as many smokers will attest. But, we are motivated. We are in control. We want the change. We want the holiday!
At work this control is usually taken away from employees and put into the hands of management. It is the people of influence who have the oversight, the vision, and the power and purse string to implement change. The loss of control increases uncertainty and the perception of losing something. And it is this loss that triggers negative feelings of anger, confusion, stress, and in some cases depression, leading to resistance to change. So what do people perceive as losing? Reasons for resistance are:
· The belief that there is no need to change, the change will increase the workload, not meet their needs and/or is doomed to fail;
· The culture that ‘this has been tried before, but it did not work’ or ‘we don’t do things like this around here’;
· Personal values are different to what the change and future requires;
· The need for leaving the comfort zone and change behaviours; and
· Management mismanaging the change process or not having employee
Most of the reasons for resistance are social in nature rather than technical. Understanding the people is important to managing resistance. Planning for resistance in the first place and undertaking empowering activities from the start of the change management program is an effective means of managing objections. When resistance occurs it is mostly seen as a negative, troublesome to the achievement of objectives and time consuming to ‘fix’. Unless driven through management actions (last point), resistance should be seen as an opportunity. It allows for dialog with employees, information sharing and ideas generation that help address potential change management process issues and to bring people along.