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10 Reasons teams resist change

by | May 27, 2022

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For many of us, change is scary because it represents the unknown. We don’t know what will happen next, and that can be very frightening. Change can also be difficult because it means leaving our comfort zone and trying something new. This can be especially challenging if we don’t feel confident in our abilities or if we’re afraid of failure.

However, change is also essential for growth and development. Without change, we would never experience new things or learn and develop new skills. So, while change can be scary, it’s also necessary for us to grow and thrive in life.

What is change management?

Change management is a strategic approach to managing the people side of change in an organisation. It focuses on how to successfully navigate transitions within your business and helps you prepare for, respond to, and learn from changes that may occur.

Through effective change management, you can help make employees feel more comfortable with change and help them adapt to new situations more easily. Change management also helps you to better understand the impact of change on your business and plan for potential challenges that may arise. When implemented correctly, change management can help reduce stress levels, improve communication, and increase overall organisational effectiveness.

Why may employees resist change?

1. Fear of failure

The first reason teams resist change is fear of failure. When teams are asked to make a change, they may feel like they are being set up to fail. They may worry that the change will be too difficult or that they won’t be able to do it properly. This can lead to resistance and a feeling of powerlessness.

2. Lack of trust

Another reason teams resist change is lack of trust. If team members don’t trust the person asking them to make the change, they may be less likely to go along with it. This could be because they don’t believe the person has their best interests at heart, or because they think the person doesn’t really know what they are talking about.

3. Lack of openness

Teams can also resist change if there is a lack of openness. When team members are not open to new ideas or feedback, it can be difficult to successfully implement change. This is because they may not be willing to listen to others’ perspectives or try out new ways of doing things.

4. Loss of control

In most cases, teams resist change because they perceive a loss of control and autonomy. Change is often imposed by a higher authority, and the team may feel that it no longer has any choice in how things are done. Workers can feel like they’re being treated as cogs in a machine rather than empowered to take ownership of their work.

5. Perceived risk  

Teams often resist change because of perceived risks. A new process might be harder to implement than the old one, or it could mean new responsibilities and additional work. People don’t like change that they perceive as risky, especially if they’re stuck in a comfort zone.

6. Creatures of habit   

People are creatures of habit and often resist change because they like to stick to what feels familiar. In many cases, people are comfortable with the way things have always been done, even if this means that things aren’t necessarily being done as well as they could be.

7. Skepticism 

Some teams simply don’t believe that any changes will make them better off, or that the company is just trying to make things “different for the sake of being different.”

8. Lack of knowledge

On the other hand, some team members may simply not know how the proposed change will help them or their team be more successful. They might need more information before they’re on board.

9. Negative experiences

People’s attitudes around change will often be developed from their previous experiences dealing with change, both personally and professionally. If members of your team have had negative experiences dealing with change in the past, this could be a significant reason why they are resisting change. 

10. Job loss

From an employee’s perspective, one of the biggest reasons they will resist change is the fear that they may lose their job. When any type of organisational change occurs, there can often be a reduction in positions or duplication of roles. This can result in staff members losing their jobs or at least having to perform different and more difficult tasks as part of their role. If members of your team think there is a chance this might occur, there will likely be resistance from them.

Whole Brain® Thinking and Change Management

Everybody thinks differently, and the ways individuals think guides how they work. The way groups of teams think and work can make or break the success of the organisation, especially during times of change. Change can be scary for people, but if you know how your team thinks, you can explain and guide them into seeing the benefits of change and new processes.

If you want to learn more about how Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® can help you and your organisation, have a look at how it works here or get in touch and we’ll help you find the right solution.

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