Resistance to Change in Organizations Comes from these Five Factors

We know that businesses, if they are to thrive, must change over time. We also know that human beings resist change. Since businesses are made up of human beings, we have a classic catch-22 situation – a dilemma of mutually conflicting conditions.

As business change is inherently necessary and difficult, it behooves smart leaders to know as much about change as possible. Mark Murphey’s recent study of some 60,000 employees provides insights into what drives employees’ resistance to change. From these insights, you, as a change leader, can glean practical ways to overcome employee resistance.

Murphey has identified five main causes of employee resistance:

  1. Employees don’t understand the rationale behind leaders’ strategy.
  2. Leaders don’t share the challenges facing the organization.
  3. Employees don’t love leaving their comfort zones.
  4. Employees don’t love taking risks.
  5. Employees doubt they can be successful in this change effort.

Even though we’ve listed the findings, understanding the data behind them is vital to your ability to use the findings in a substantive way to benefit your company. The data gives a current picture of employees’ perceptions of their leaders and their own attitudes toward change. Because the information is clear and easy to absorb, the real value is in figuring out how to use it to augment what you already know about your employees and your company culture.

One article can’t tell you everything you need to know about leading change and overcoming people’s natural resistance to it, but, depending on your current depth of understanding, this article is either a great start or a reassuring supplement.

Contact us and we can help you identify concrete ways to overcome resistance to change in your organization and be a more effective change leader