This overview of Managing Change and Innovation was prepared by Blake Phillips while a Management major in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University.
This article was produced to educate managers about techniques that can be used to reduce an employee’s resistance to change. Managers should use these techniques to provide support to an employee who may be having troubles coping with changing times within an organization.
The Idea in a Nutshell
Humans do not like change. Change causes uncertainty, disruption of habits, and concerns for personal loss. Change can bring challenges upon managers while trying to keep employees in order. Employees who frequently encounter change are more apt to lose motivation in performing task or believe that the change is not in the best interest of the organization. The techniques for reducing resistance to change are the manager’s tools to keep the organization up and running.
The Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Techniques for Reducing Resistance to Change
1. Education- This can be done by one-to-one discussions, group meetings, or reports. It is critical that employees know how the change will affect the organization.
2. Participation- Allow those who oppose to the change to provide their ideas in the decision making process. This can help employees show that they have expertise to make meaningful contributions. Employee involvement can reduce the resistance to change and perhaps increase motivation while accomplishing task.
3. Facilitation- Provide skills training, or paid leave of absence. Although this technique can be time consuming and expensive, it will provide the employee with a greater feeling of worth within the company.
4. Support- Provide supportive efforts such as counseling or therapy, new skills training. Allow the employee to know that someone is there to help them and that they are not alone while coping with change.
5. Manipulation- This is a method of influencing employees by twisting or distorting certain facts, withholding damaging information, or creating false rumors. This method is inexpensive and when used ethically, it can be an easy way to gain support from resistors.
6. Co-optation- This is a strategy of manipulation and participation. Influence the employee to feel that he/she is part of a group effort to increase the employees desire to succeed.
7. Selecting People Who Accept Change- The ability to accept and adapt to change can be found in an employee’s personality. People who are open to experience and challenges can be beneficial to an organizations future.
8. Coercion- Using direct threats or forces to change an employee’s attitude and increase motivation. A threat to terminate an employee’s job can open the employee’s eyes to see that they must work harder to keep their desired position within an organization.
9. Recognition- Give credit where credit is due. Recognition from a person of higher authority can increase an employee’s condition of worth and thus possibly leading to the employee accepting new challenges to gain further recognition.
10. Communication- Communicate with employees to see the logic of change. This is appropriate if resistance is contributed to misinformation or poor communication.
I feel that managers must use these techniques to keep the organization moving along and to help cope with changing times. Sometimes a change is needed, other times change just happens. To some people, just the thought of change can lead to loss of motivation, feelings of uneasiness, or lead to loss of commitment to an organization. The techniques listed above are the tools managers must use to diminish employee resistance as much as possible. Without committed and motivated employees, organizations will never reach their full potential.
Coulter, M., & Robbins, S. P. (2009). Management. Techniques for Reducing Resistance to Change, 265.
Blanchard, K. (2008, May 7). Change Management.
Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-SoMlEIBr4
Contact Info: To contact the author of “Top Ten Management on Managing Change and Innovation,” please email Blake Phillips at Blake.Phillips@selu.edu or Blakep06@yahoo.com.
David C. Wyld (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at http://wyld-business.blogspot.com/. He also maintains compilations of his student’s publications regarding book reviews (http://wyld-about-books.blogspot.com/) and international foods (http://wyld-about-food.blogspot.com/).
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