Reducing resistance to change

Overcoming resistance to change is vital to successfully achieving it. Here are our top tips.

Humans. We’re notoriously resistant to change. Why? It threatens the rhythm of our world. It’s tricky. Tiring. Hard. It’s a key reason why over 70% of change initiatives within businesses fail.

Overcoming employee resistance to change is one of the biggest challenges to successfully implementing change within your organisation.

These seven tips will help you reduce resistance and get employees onboard with your change programme. 

Reduce resistance to change by explaining the big picture

Make sure you’re able to clearly articulate the vision of what your business will look and feel like once the change has been successfully delivered. Bring your vision to life in a way that’s engaging and easily understood. If your employees can see the big picture of where you’re heading and why they’ll be much more likely to buy into your plans. 

Simple is harder than complex, but moves mountains

Answer the what’s in it for me question

In addition to sharing the vision, make sure you communicate how your project will benefit employees and make their jobs easier. Will they have more time to spend on the work that matters most to them? Better tools for doing their jobs? Easier access to internal expertise and information? Explaining the benefits to your audience instantly makes the change more relevant.

Provide a forum for voicing concerns

There’s a number of reasons why people resist change. According to Gallup, they may feel psychological ownership of the object of change, have differing opinions, or resist the way change is being introduced. Providing a forum for employees to voice their questions and concerns – and most importantly, to feel heard – can help you dispel the water-cooler whispers and get people onside.

Reduce resistance to change by treating employees as adults

Be honest about what you know – and what you don’t know. You won’t have all the answers right from the start – but making an effort shows that you care about how this change affects people. Be transparent and empathetic in your communications and acknowledge your audience’s diverse needs, desires and aspirations. 

70% of change initiatives fail

Get leaders (and their assistants) onboard

Make sure that your senior leaders understand and buy into what you’re trying to achieve. If leadership visibly supports your plans, chances are higher that their teams will too. And make sure you give plenty of TLC to their Executive and Personal Assistants. Not only do they have the ears of their manager, but they can also provide a huge amount of knowledge and feedback.

Reduce resistance to change by create a network of change champions

Setup a network of employees across the business to champion your change programme. Try to ensure they’re representative of your organisation’s structure, locations and roles. Not only will they provide feedback on how the programme is perceived on the ground, but they can also help you land messages with their peers and identify potential roadblocks and challenges ahead.

Communicate regularly and celebrate early wins

Once you’ve shared your vision, provide a regular drum-beat of communications. Celebrating early wins helps to build momentum – each milestone passed becomes a step towards achieving the bigger picture. But make it easy for your audience. No one has time to read an 80-page PowerPoint. Use short and punchy content to share updates quickly while keeping your audience engaged. 

At Bundle, we can help you deliver long-lasting change by creating beautiful, bite-sized content that supports your strategy, explains your vision and engages your audience. Check out this example of what we created for Kantar.

If you want to support your change initiative with a dedicated creative team, get in touch and find out how we can help. 

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