Leaders as Change Agents: Change Is Hard and Resistance to Change Is Inevitable
Like most entrepreneurs, I’m an ideas person. I see opportunities and potential all around me and that means embracing change. While I may be excited and energized by change, my team members may not be. Why? Because change is hard. It means having to step out of your comfort zone and adopt new behaviors and habits.
In the business world, change is constant and necessary to maintain a competitive edge. Yet when change is thrust upon employees, many will vehemently resist, seeing the change as a threat. According to an article published by McKinsey & Company, “70 percent of change programs fail to achieve their goals, largely due to employee resistance and lack of management support.” The article goes on to say, “When people are truly invested in change it is 30 percent more likely to stick.”
While resistance to change is natural, it doesn’t have to be a chronic source of contention for leaders once you understand your role as a change agent.
- The first step is to anticipate resistance and plan for it. Strive to understand how the change will impact team members.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. People need to understand the “why” behind the change. Be prepared to answer, “What’s in it for me?”.
- Commit to being visible and fully present during the change to show your support. This is important for the manager as well as senior executives. Being present sends a strong message that you care and want everyone to succeed.
Nothing with grind a new initiative to a halt faster than resistance by your employees. By anticipating, planning and communicating effectively through major and minor changes, you’ll be able to raise your team to new heights.Tags: change agent, change management, Communication, Culture Change, Healthcare Leader, Leadership, resistance, resistance to change