As the manager of Growth Stack’s IT projects, I’ve witnessed firsthand the willful opposition to new technology and change in general. I asked myself why employees resist new technology? I’ve also worked in businesses where change is welcomed with open arms and projects are finished on time. I sat down a few weeks ago to study why some employees resist change, and in this piece, I’ll outline some of them for you.
Before I go into detail about the causes, I should point out that the majority of them can be traced back to the management team. If an employee is rejecting change in one organization, he or she would not consider resisting change in a different organization. If a person works at a bank, he or she will never exhibit the same resistance to change as someone who works in a small real estate agency.
All leaders, change-makers, and change-owners in every business need to understand the reasons why employees resist change in the workplace. Understanding why people resist change will aid your organization in successfully introducing and implementing change. Employees oppose the change in the workplace for a variety of reasons more than the reasons listed above.
Below are my top-secret reasons why employees resist change and they will never disclose to anyone.
Every company has its own set of internal politics. As a result, some personnel opposes the change in order to “show or prove” that the change decision is incorrect. They may also be averse to admitting that the person in charge of the change is unfit for the job. These employees reject everything about the new transformation and are resolute in making sure the project fails.
Employees fight change in the workplace for a variety of reasons, one of which is job loss. Any process, innovation, system, or product change in an organizational setting will include streamlining, working smarter, cost reduction, efficiency, and shorter turnaround times. All of this indicates that employees and managers will fight changes that result in the elimination or reduction of their jobs. Your change, in their opinion, is detrimental to their career within the company! A part of employees’ reactions during times of transition are determined by their job satisfaction.
Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are better able to weather moments of change. They have a more optimistic attitude toward their work and regard change as a necessity for the organization. Employees who are dissatisfied, on the other hand, see change as just another annoyance in a long list of grievances. Regardless of the change, angry employees are likely to see it as having a negative influence on both the company and them personally.
Another important reason why employees resist change is shock and fear of the unknown. Employees might react to organizational change in a variety of ways, from dread and terror to enthusiastic support. Some employees may feel compelled to cling to the past during periods of transition since it was a more stable and predictable time. If what they did previously worked well for them, they may be hesitant to change their behavior for fear of not achieving as much in the future. The less the company understands about the shift and how it will affect them, the more terrified they will become.
It’s also important to avoid surprising people when leading a shift! The company must be ready for the transition.
Another reason why people resist change in the workplace is a lack of competence. Employees find it difficult to disclose publicly that they have this worry. However, sometimes organizational change involves skill adjustments, and some employees may fear that they won’t be able to make the shift smoothly. As a result, the only way for them to try to survive is to fight change.
Some employees are resistant to change because they are hesitant to try new routines and hence refuse to learn anything new. “I already know everything I need to know to complete the job,” they say, or “I am brilliant at what I do, so why upset the apple cart?” Employees who are adamant that the change will fail or who are unwilling to learn anything new will stymie the organization’s ability to grow and adapt to change. To be honest, they also stifle their own personal development.
Employees who are already in their comfort zones, working with bosses they like, and following predictable routines know that their support system will be there for them through difficult times. Changes in organizational structures may cause them to lose faith in their support network. They may be concerned about working for a new supervisor, in a new team, or on new projects because they fear that if they attempt and fail, they would be alone.
One of the most common reasons for employee resistance to change is a sense of loss of control. Employees gain a sense of control over their work environment when they are familiar with their routines. Employees may feel powerless and befuddled when they are asked to modify how they function. When people believe they have some control over the situation, they are more likely to grasp and make adjustments.
Maintaining open lines of contact with employees and requesting their input, support, and assistance shows them that their contributions are valued. Involve them, solicit their opinion, and allow them to volunteer for participating roles in the change; all of this will help them feel in control during times of transition.
We are all social beings, whether we are introverts or extroverts. To defend the interests of a group, team members, and coworkers, organizational stakeholders will fight change. Employees are prone to resisting change in order to safeguard their coworkers. This could be pure sympathy for their peers as a result of the shift that has been forced upon them. To safeguard their workgroups or allies, managers will also resist change. All of these behaviors have the potential to hinder any change’s success.
Let’s face it: in both their personal and professional life, most individuals seek predictability and consistency. As a result, people tend to avoid circumstances that disrupt the status quo, threaten their self-interests, create stress, or pose a danger. When confronted with a change in the status quo, people typically resist at first.
The opposition persists, and in some circumstances intensifies until they are able to understand the benefits of change and believe that the benefits outweigh the risks or dangers to their own self-interests. I’m aware that people are resistant to change due to a lack of information — on the what, why, when, how, who, and how much help is required for those affected.
People oppose change because of a fundamental human aversion to having others’ will imposed on them, as James O’Toole puts out in his book Leading Change – and I agree. Finally, all sources of resistance to change must be acknowledged, and people’s feelings must be supported. Anticipating objections is vastly preferable to putting out fires, and understanding how to overcome change resistance is an important aspect of any change management strategy.
Organizational change is rarely met with illogical opposition. Employees are resistant to change for a reason that makes perfect sense to them.
Employees are resistant to change in the workplace for a variety of reasons. Employees’ resistance to change at work is largely due to poor change execution and management.
I appreciate change management, but I dislike any change that is poorly implemented and managed. Technological advancements, the Information Age, and changes in the global economy and business environment have all caused firms to adapt how they do business in recent years. Sadly, whether we like it or not, change is unavoidable. Companies that refuse to change run the risk of being forgotten, of being driven out of business by competitors, or of being forced to close their doors.
Managers and supervisors are the ones in charge of implementing the changes that CEOs or Directors have passed down to them. However, most of these managers’ traditional talents do not include the ability to be an effective Change Agent. Managers require change management skills now more than ever before in these quickly changing times.
Some people, indeed, appear to be born with a deep aversion to change and will try tirelessly to preserve “the way things used to be around here.” As a result, organizational change is difficult to achieve. As a result, up to two-thirds of organizational change management attempts fail completely.
To be honest, top change sponsors frequently blame their failure on the opposition of employees and middle management to change. This is true at times. Senior executives and managers, on the other hand, frequently overestimate how much change they can successfully manage in an organization that lacks qualified change agents. Some people are also unaware of how tough it is to properly lead and implement change. Leading and executing change necessitates a wide range of interpersonal skills as well as a motivated team! Knowing why employees resist change and steering them away from those reasons, as well as having change-ready companies, will help any change attempt succeed.
Any business can effectively manage objections if it anticipates resistance to change and plans for it from the start of its change management program. Understanding the most prevalent reasons why employees reject or object to change will allow managers to devise a change strategy that addresses these issues. It’s impossible to be aware of all potential sources of change resistance. Expecting resistance to change and being prepared to deal with it is, on the other hand, a proactive step. Recognizing behaviors that may signal resistance to change will increase awareness of the need to address the issues.
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