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Monday, March 17, 2014

Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change Is All About The 4 C's

Change doesn't just happen. It needs to be driven with purpose and intent. Change management requires planning for acceptance. If you want employees to accept change, invest some time in planning and communication. Too often, managers throw a change out there and expect others to say, “Well, that’s just fine.” That’s not likely.

To start, you must first understand why people are so quick to resist change. By knowing this, you can make intelligent decisions about how to introduce changes.

Change equals loss. One main reason for the negativity: When things change, you lose something. You may gain something as well, but a loss is usually involved.

To get people to accept change, the first step is to understand what, from their perspective; they feel that they’re losing. If you can empathize with their feelings—and possibly compensate for the loss—you’ve taken a giant first step toward acceptance.

Here are four more factors—the four C’s—to promoting acceptance of change:

1. Caring. Listening and responding to people’s reactions is just as important as explaining the reasons for change.

2. Control. People want input into how change will be implemented. But never ask for input unless you plan to consider it.

3. Choice. Employees feel better if they are given options as part of the change process. The more choices they have, the more they feel in control.

4. Competence. Workers are happier about change if they feel they have the skills and abilities to succeed after the change. The faster you can help someone move through the learning curve, the faster they will accept the change.

Managing change means managing people's fear. Change is natural and good, but people's reaction to change is unpredictable and irrational. It can be managed if done right.

So before you begin to implement any important change with employees, take time to develop a plan that incorporates those four features.

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