6 Techniques To Overcome Resistance To Change
The social environment is changeable according to time and it brings new, concepts, knowledge, and value to society. Organizations need to work in changing social environments.
Managers need to manage change effectively and for this purpose resistance to change must be overcome to manage change. The following six are the most effective techniques to overcome resistance to change in the workplace.
Education and Communication
People resist change because they have to lack in-depth knowledge about the impact of change on their professional life. One of the reliable and practical techniques for overcoming resistance to change is educating the people.
The communication system plays the most important role in the education of employees. Managers need to communicate factual information about the impact of change on the prospects of the organization and also in their profession.
It helps the employees to understand and recognize the logic of the change. Two-way communication is a must for every organization.
While overcoming resistance to change participation of employees in the decision-making process helps to reduce their curiosity.
It is difficult for individuals to resist change decisions in which they have participated. Managers need to involve employees in preparing change plans, policies, and strategies.
They have to convince and motivate employees when any problem is seen in the decision-making process even by taking support from expertise. It reduces the feeling of misunderstanding and develops the attitude of membership and belongingness among the employees.
Real participation in the decision-making process would ensure the commitment of the employees to implement the change.
Related: What is Organizational Change?
Facilitation and Support
Managers can introduce a wide range of supportive efforts for employees to minimize resistance to change. Change may create fear and anxiety among employees due to a lack of sufficient knowledge. They can play the role of facilitators to provide technical support and counseling.
The supportive efforts involve interaction with employees, knowing their problems and difficulties, providing emotional support, and training for new skills, etc. It helps to develop understanding among employees which becomes convenient to implement change.
Negotiation is necessary when resistance to change is more powerful. When resistance comes from a group of people, an agreement can be initiated with group members by offering a specific reward.
For example, management negotiates with labor unions based on bargaining to implement change. However, this overcoming resistance to change technique is more costly and risky.
Once management negotiates with another party to avoid resistance, other groups in power may create problems to meet their needs.
Manipulation and Cooptation
Manipulation is a cover technique to implement change. It involves tactful presentation of cases and events to create zeal or enthusiasm among the employees to accept change. Examples of manipulation consist of twisting and distorting facts to make them appear more attractive and withholding undesirable information.
On the other hand, cooptation involves both manipulation and participation. It seeks to involve leaders of resistance groups by giving them a key role in the change decision.
Management uses manipulation and cooptation techniques only if other techniques failed in practice. One of the major drawbacks of these techniques of overcoming resistance to change is that once the employees realize the fact the credibility of managers may drop to negative.
Coercion is concerned with the application of direct threats or force upon the people creating resistance. This technique is applied when other techniques become ineffective and managers have pressure for quick implementation of change.
In this technique, employees who are resisting change have been given two options either to accept the change or quit the job.
Other common examples of coercion involve threats of transfer, loss of promotion, negative performance evaluation, poor letters of recommendation, etc. It is a more risky technique to resist change because the impact may be both positive and negative.
Read Next: What is Planned Change?