When companies transform, cultures change...and so does resistance to change. Because culture is often forgotten. Management wants to move fast, and immediately put in place the tools that will make them more digital, more agile and more efficient. It's possible to move fast, but you need a strategy and a method to engage employees right from the start of the process.

Teams may fear change: it is destabilising, stressful and time-consuming. This is why change must be accompanied. Technologically, of course, but also humanly. It is important to anticipate resistance to change, to understand it, in order to put in place the conditions for a successful change of culture that is both lasting and effective in your company.

Bannière DTA - Transformation

The 12 reasons for resistance to change

Pour surmonter la résistance au changement, commençons par comprendre ses mécanismes. Voici les 12 raisons de résistance au changement, listées par le site @meliorate :

  1. Misunderstanding the meaning of the change - If people do not understand the reasons for the change, you can expect resistance. Especially when people have considered the existing model to be effective, and have done so for over 20 years!
  2. Fear of the unknown - This is the most common reason for resistance to change. To get your teams to move forward and change their habits, it is best that they feel that what is really dangerous is not to change anything.
  3. Lack of skills - Any transformation, be it organisational, digital, managerial, etc., requires an evolution in skills, and not everyone feels capable of it. Consider implementing an acculturation programme to bring all your employees up to speed, so that everyone "speaks the same language".
  4. One's personal relationship with the old ways of doing things.
  5. Lack of confidence - Because employees do not always believe in the company's ability to make change happen.
  6. Belief in a passing fad - When teams see the desire to transform as a fad, a trend that will soon pass.
  7. Lack of consultation - People are less resistant to change when they are involved. People like to know and understand what is going on. Even more so if their jobs are affected by the transformation. It is therefore essential to involve them, ask for their feedback, carry out surveys, etc.
  8. Poor communication - because it is better to communicate a little too much than not enough...
  9. Breaking the routine - We like our comfort zone. It is safe. Resistance to change is therefore a natural behaviour in the face of danger.
  10. Saturation - Don't mistake compliance for acceptance. And don't mistake acceptance for commitment. Sometimes employees get tired of the constant changes and become resigned. If they agree to comply with your demands, they are not motivated.
  11. Changing the status quo - Resistance to change can come from a relative perception of change. If change is seen to lead to a worse situation, or if it will cause us to lose our advantages, then it will lead to resentment and a real lack of commitment.
  12. Lack of reward - when the benefits and rewards for sustaining change are not perceived as being as beneficial as the difficulties to be overcome.
Resistance to change: the reasons

How to counter resistance to change

1- Acculturate

The acculturation process can alleviate many aspects of resistance to change. You can therefore disseminate learning content, organise workshops or training courses, all with the aim of explaining :

  • Why change is necessary, what is the meaning of the transformation project
  • How it will work
  • What is everyone'spersonal interest in embarking on the transformation

This acculturation phase is also a time to increase the skills of employees who might be afraid of being "overwhelmed" by the situation. Offer them training, or simple and fun learning content to help them.

Finally, the acculturation phase can be an opportunity to set up new rituals. Indeed, since your employees are afraid to leave their comfort zone, you will have to create a new one for them!

2- Ask for feedback

The main reason for resistance to change: your employees do not feel consulted, let alone listened to. The transformation is imposed on them. So, by asking them for feedback, you show that the change is not imposed on them, and that they are the actors in it. To do this, distribute, for example polls or surveys.

However, it cannot be said often enough: if you ask for feedback from your employees, you must then use it! There are several ways to do this:

  • Communicate the results of the surveys: you have observed these results and you communicate them
  • Organise live spe eches to answer any questions or clarify points.
  • Implementthe requests made directly or indirectly by the teams

3- Giving employees a voice

resistance to change: giving employees a voice

To go further than feedback, you can encourage employees to actively participate in the transformation. To do this, offer them a space in which they can put their ideas and suggestions to better experience the transformation.

After all, your employees are the first to experience change on a daily basis. Trust them. If they are at the forefront of the change, they will certainly have excellent ideas for making your transformation plan a success! And by feeling that they are involved and that they count, they will really be on board with the change.

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Bannière DTA - Transformation