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The Factors Of Change Resistance In A Workplace

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To begin with, Surprise and fear of Unknown, when changes are acquainted without warning, most people tend to resist to change. Which I think is a normal human reaction. As for employees, they are afraid of the unknown because they cannot preclude the result. So as an employer, I should be able to talk to my employees so not only they can anticipate the outcome but they can also minimize the resistance. For instance, for teachers is really normal to have an abrupt evaluation “Pop Quiz” because it allows them to keep their students sharp and helps them identify who does his homework or not. However, for students, a Pop Quiz is sometimes a tribulation. Planning comes with being informed beforehand about what needs to be accomplished in the future. Could you imagine you wake up in the morning knowing that you have no evaluations on that day?. And in the middle of the class, the teacher asks you to clear up your desk for a Pop Quiz. Anxiety is one factor that could make you fail that quiz. Likewise, for teachers. In the middle of the class, a supervisor comes in for an evaluation without prior notice. You will see a resentment facial expression. So we can easily conclude that communication between employer and employees can significantly reduce employee’s resistance.

Second, the climate of mistrust. Let’s say when there is no trust whatsoever between two individuals, their marriage isn’t probably going to last long. It’s the same idea with a company. When there is trust between the manager and the employee or the employees between themselves, the company will languish in a long run and there will be more likelihood of change resistance. Trust is one of the foundations of a business. For example, when managers are always looking at what their employees are doing or checking how they are dealing with the tasks that have been assigned to them, we can assertively say that the manager does not trust is employees. And that’s made immediately the change process much more difficult. So one way to overcome the climate of mistrust is instant communication, Job delegationIn one of his many articles, Simon Sinek wrote: “A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.”.

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Climate of Mistrust

Trust involves reciprocal faith in others’ intentions and behavior. Mistrust encourages secrecy, which causes deeper mistrust, putting even well-conceived changes at risk of failure. Managers who trust their employees make the change process an open, honest, and participative affair. All told, employees who feel fairly treated by managers during change are less likely to resist.

Fear of Failure

Intimidating changes on the job can cause employees to doubt their capabilities. Self-doubt erodes self-confidence and cripples personal growth and development.

Disruption of Cultural Traditions or Group Relationships

Whenever individuals are transferred, promoted, or reassigned, it can disrupt existing cultural and group relationships. Example: Traditionally, Sony Corp. promoted insiders to new positions. When an outsider, Howard Stringer, was named as the next chairman and CEO and six corporate officers were asked to resign, creating a majority board of foreigners, the former CEO, Nobuyuki Idei, worried the moves might engender strong employee resistance.

Nonreinforcing Reward Systems

Employees are likely to resist when they can’t see any positive rewards from proposed changes, as, for example, when one is asked to work longer hours without additional compensation.Where do you stand on change? Do you tend to accept and embrace change, or do you have tendencies to resist it? The following self-assessment will provide feedback on your attitudes toward change. If your scores indicate resistance, you should consider what can be done to move your attitudes in a more positive direction.


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