Overcoming Change at Workplace

Table of Contents


Change is a fundamental factor in every organization. This is because it allows the employees to handle competition and technological developments in the workplace. However, most employees oppose the change in their organizations; thus, negatively affecting the productivity of such organizations.

According to Leahy (2003), it is vital for organizations to embrace change for them to adapt to both internal and peripheral developments. Leahy (2003) affirms that it is hard to initiate changes within organizations because many employees usually resist them.

Leahy further insists that resistance is a normal reaction to organizational changes that usually come in varied ways. These include modest improvements, organizational transformation, or major changes such as changing the mission. He further indicates that resistance is positive because it highlights that an organization is going through change.

Consequently, it is fundamental for every top manager in an organization to ensure that he addresses resistance from the line managers and employees. It is clear that the issues of change play a pivotal role in organizational success based on these concerns; thus, the need for the management to adopt appropriate practices to facilitate the process.

Causes of resistance to change

According to Palmer (2003), many employees resist changes in their workplaces based on several reasons. They resist change because they consider the risks associated with the process as life-changing. This is in comparison to the risks that characterize their normal work conditions. Palmer says that many people detest changes because they find it difficult to move to an unknown direction.

This means that employees view change as a risky process within the workplace. Additionally, most employees resist changes because they believe that their jobs are connected to their leaders and founders of the company.

Indeed, everyone is satisfied when he or she feels connected with the leaders and founders of the workplace. Therefore, asking employees to embrace changes in the workplace by affecting their relations may culminate in resistance (Palmer, 2004).

Additionally, personnel resists change at the workplace because they lack a role model to educate them on the benefits of change. In addition, resistance at the workplace occurs because employees do not trust their capabilities. As such, they believe that they lack the competence needed for change. According to Woods & West (2010), most organizational changes require new skills, experiences, and knowledge.

This makes employees feel that they will not meet the requirements (Woods & West, 2010). Most people also resist changes because they feel burdened.

These feelings affect the efforts of change within an organization. Episodes of resistance are equally attributable to skepticism because people do not trust whether the anticipated change is sound (Woods & West, 2010). Finally, most people conclude that every change is bad. As such, they resist any change within the organization.

Overcoming resistance to change

Changes in the workplace face many challenges. This is because employees tend to resist changes since the resultant effects may distort their responsibilities; thus, hindering them from completing their planned tasks. This contradicts the employers’ views.

This is because they believe that resistance to change negatively affects the productivity of an organization and customer services (Miller &Rollnick, 2002). For organizations to conduct their activities successfully, they must embrace varied practices. Initially, human resource managers (HRM) in organizations should involve all personnel in the change process, rather than including the management team only.

The organizations must expand their circle of involvement; thus, making the change process dynamic. This means that the top organizational managers should collaborate with other organizational staff members to agree on the intended changes. The managers need to treat other personnel with respect; hence, allowing them to contribute wholly towards the new changes (Miller &Rollnick, 2002).

This is because a lack of staff engagement in organizational changes makes employees fail to support the process because they consider the process as not institutional. Therefore, organizational managers should build their trust with employees by showing commitment and reliance (Palmer, 2004).

This is vital because managers propagate trust and understanding when they discuss issues with other personnel, hence; encouraging them to accept the changes. The managers should also encourage the workers who doubt the new changes for them to support and implement them.

Secondly, organizations should conduct teaching and learning methods to confront organizational employees who resist changes (Leonard, 2012). Clearly, teaching is fundamental to the change agenda since it offers support and creates awareness amongst employees on the importance of changes.

Furthermore, it highlights the tasks that personnel will play in the change process (Miller &Rollnick, 2002). Therefore, teaching acts as a counseling tool in every change process as it enables and encourages employees to adapt to the new changes.

According to Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn (2005), the management team must ensure that they redefine their main aim of change for them to overcome resistance. Consequently, they must involve other employees in the change process, offer feedbacks, listen, welcome other people’s views, and encourage employees by making them understand that they are the owners of the new changes (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2005).

The organizational managers should ensure that they break down the process and reconstruct it frequently. As such, when employees fail to understand the changes, reconstruction will help them to acknowledge the vision and future (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2005). Consequently, it will help employees to discover the roles accompanied by change; hence, making them understands any organizational change.

Communication is important in addressing resistance to change in any organization. It is vital for managers to communicate with employees before coming up with any change in an organization. This form of communication can happen through collecting information from the employees on how they perceive the new change and whether the change influences their tasks and responsibilities.

Consequently, the resistance will reduce after communicating and coming up with an agreement with the employees on the change. The feedbacks that employees offer on the change process will enable them to support it rather than resist. Managers should ensure that the changes come with incentives to overcome resistance (Walker, 2011). The incentives will enable the employees to support the change. These could be in the form of bonuses, salary increments, and other presents given to employees that support the changes. Furthermore, there should be rewards to employees who motivate other employees to adapt to the new changes.

Implementing an open-door policy can help various organizations in overcoming resistance to change. This is because some people prefer expressing their views alone rather than doing it in a group forum. Therefore, when an organization has an open-door policy, it will be advantageous to employees who prefer airing their views in a private setting (Woods & West, 2010).

Direct discussions between an employee and the manager rather than a group of employees with the manager will enable both teams to agree on how they can make the change easier for employees to manage. This process is important because it provides feedback, input, complaints, and allows the involvement of all personnel as an individual at the workplace (Woods & West, 2010).

In addition, the employers should clarify to their employee’s alternatives to the change process are unavailable. This will reduce the resistance to change at workplaces. Consequently, Leonard (2012) indicates that even though employees feel involved in the implementation of organizational change, the employers should make them understand that change is not a choice; therefore, it is obligatory for employees to adopt change.

Marketing the new change to every department in an organization will reduce resistance because it will help employees to understand the importance of the change (Leahy, 2003). Individuals who understand the aim of the plan will support it; hence, implementing the ideologies in their tasks and responsibilities.

Organizations should create varied groups to act as change agents that encourage, support, plan, and implement processes involved in the change process. This change agent group should entail both the management team and the non-management team (Leahy, 2003).

According to Woods & West (2010), organizations that are determined to address resistance to change must facilitate and support their employees by offering them with emotional and material help.

This will be beneficial to organizations because it will enable employees who experience problems while adapting to changes to adjust. Managers should also appoint leaders to act as an instrument for change to overcome resistance at the workplace (Woods & West, 2010).

This is because such leaders will participate in the change process by developing change principles and empowering employees. As a result, this will raise the total number of employees that will be in favor of the change. Finally, it is possible to overcome resistance at the workplace when all organizational employers present their proposed change before implementing it.

By doing this, they will highlight their intention of building support, seeking questions, or challenges regarding the change (Woods & West, 2010). Consequently, presenting the proposed change will empower the employees to implement the new change and create recommendations regarding the improvements of the change process; thus, making the change applicable in an organization (Woods & West, 2010).


Organizations must ensure that they develop a vision. Furthermore, they should have faith in their personnel before implementing organizational change. An organization should consider varied things organization for it to conduct changes successfully.

Managers should ensure that they build employee trust. This will allow them to offer solutions to varying issues within the organization. The organization should always be willing to support and allow employees to play major roles that will enhance the yield of an organization (Walker, 2011).

The managers should understand that the workers are encouraged to work diligently in implementing and refining the intended changes. This is by involving employees in creating organizational ideas. Additionally, the person should understand that the change process would ensure that they remain relevant in the market. This will safeguard their positions while allowing them to venture into the corporate sector to attain success.


Leahy, R. L. (2003). Overcoming resistance in cognitive therapy.New York, NY: Guilford.

Leonard, E. C. (2012). Supervision: Concepts and practices of management. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Miller, W. R., &Rollnick, S. (2002). Motivational interviewing: Preparing people for change. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Palmer, B. (2004). Making change work: Practical tools for overcoming human resistance to change. Milwaukee, Wisc: ASQ Quality Press.

Schermerhorn, J.R., Hunt, J.G., & Osborn, R.N. (2005).Organizational Behavior (9thEd.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Walker, R. (2011). Strategic business communication for leaders. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Woods, S. A., & West, M. A. (2010).The psychology of work and organizations. Andover, UK: South-Western Cengage Learning.

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