​Overcoming fear of change in the workplace

By: Emily Kavanagh, Marketing Assistant, 28 August 2018 Categories: Change management

Are you resistant about bringing a change initiative in to your organisation? You’re not alone.

It’s human nature to resist change, particularly if you’ve previously been exposed to a change initiative which failed to have the desired results.

  • 70% of change efforts fail to meet target impact
  • 33% of change efforts fail because management behaviour does not support the change

Blossom Cohen, painlesshire.com/change-in-the-workplace/

How can you set up a change initiative to succeed?

The starting point towards addressing change in an organisation is effective communication. It is key that people’s perceptions of the impact of change are dealt with and underlying concerns are addressed.

Without clear communication, a change initiative lacks clarity, very often resulting in a fear towards the change and a reluctance to take risks.

It can be hard for employees to break away from habits when they use systems and processes that they trust. Therefore, they need to be engaged not only throughout the period of change but also, after the major elements of the plan have been implemented.

Top tips to leading change:

  • Leaders need to take control and implement appropriate steps to guide their team through a time of change, ensuring that it sticks. Successful change initiatives require new practices to be cemented into the organisation’s processes and culture.
  • It is vital that everyone is involved early on in organisational changes. This way everyone has a clear understanding of the changes that are expected of them and make time to adjust and master them.
  • It’s important to celebrate short-term wins - reiterating positive change and showing quick results that demonstrate early victories, helps build momentum between the team. Highlighting these positive changes helps team members to associate the change initiative with positive outcomes, overcoming initial fears.
  • Remove obstacles from the process of change – deal with resistance as it arises, to figure out quickly why it’s happening and a solution to resolve it. This will remove any barriers as they come up.

Overall, it is about having a clear vision, which all members of the organisation share so they can understand the reasons and drive behind the change initiative.

Remember – You must be confident and positive towards the change initiative before you can expect others to reflect a similar attitude and behaviour towards it.