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Embracing Change in 2023: Part 2

This month’s blog post concludes the two-part Embracing Change in 2023 series. Part 1 was released in January and introduced the concept of “change fatigue” and what organisations can do to facilitate and assist their teams in embracing change.

In Part 1, five practical concepts were discussed that can help individuals and organisations overcome change fatigue in the workplace. These were:

  1. Do not be afraid;
  2. Visualise the change;
  3. Model in-house change;
  4. Be prepared for peaks and troughs; and
  5. Have strong leadership

This month, we introduce you to five more:

  1. Don’t change everything at once;
  2. Change up your belief structure;
  3. Welcome resistance;
  4. Establish the right feedback loops; and
  5. Measure it.

Practical Ways to Overcome Change Fatigue in the Workplace, Continued.

  1. Don’t change everything at once

There is a strong narrative across multiple organisations that changes are introduced several times a year before they reap any reward or benefit from the previous change.

If your organisation starts with a new change initiative, and before seeing it through, jumps onto another and another, it creates turmoil and uncertainty that will soon become part of the organisation’s DNA.

Symptoms like having too much work, not completing tasks, and multi-tasking cause bottlenecks and dependencies. It also slows down any chance of progress, and employees begin to exhibit signs of change fatigue on both personal and professional levels.

  1. Change up your belief structure

Many organisations seem to be stuck in a cycle of change without ever achieving real results, which reflects negatively on the belief systems of employees. Unsuccessful (or rather, unsupported) change means employees either believe that leaders are giving it lip service and not fully supporting the change initiative, or that there isn’t real influence over managing the change from both sides.

To change behaviour, we need to first look at changing the environment by creating conditions in which the behaviour that you consider desirable will be easier and more natural than it is now. This means that for us to change the ‘culture’, we need to create new belief systems for the people in the organisation—and new belief systems are created through new experiences.

  1. Welcome resistance

Resistance to change is not a bad thing. It should instead be seen as a feedback vehicle for leaders, helping them to gather information from the people that are going through the change.

I strongly believe that people matter, and relationships matter. People don’t resist change; instead, they resist being changed and having the change being forced upon them. Let’s start involving people in the change effort.

  1. Establish the right feedback loops

Don’t rely on PowerPoint presentations, email, or even inspiring words painted on walls to communicate change. Instead, find ways to have face-to-face conversations with the people on the ground, and create a platform where they feel safe to express their concerns. This will help develop unity, alignment, and a shared purpose.

  1. Measure it

Be deliberate about what improvement you are trying to seek, and how to measure it. Only then will you avoid unreflective knee-jerk responses. If the goal is to continually develop a fit-for-purpose capability through your change initiatives, you need to capture the correct data to learn if the process is working.

By applying all 10 practical concepts, you can help your workforce to adapt to change more easily and avoid the fatigue that comes with many changes.


Workplace overwhelm: how to protect your team from change fatigue

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).

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