Organisational Challenges During Change

Research has shown that 70% of change in an organisation fails because of resistance from the workplace. This statistic is shockingly high, so if your business is about to undergo some major changes, keep reading...


There are many challenges to face during a period of change; lack of communication, poor structure and the way things are run in general... But thankfully by being able to evaluate the changes it can bring overt and covert benefits to a company. 


An overt evaluation of change can positively impact decision making, reduce uncertainty, learning and control. Whereas, covert evaluations provide benefits to rally support, postpone a decision, evade responsibility, fulfil requirements and surveillance. Although this is a good way of being able to evaluate change, the downside is that this can be expensive, time consuming and de-motivating.


Change management is a structured approach for ensuring that changes are thoroughly and smoothly implemented, and that the lasting benefits of change are achieved. This helps employees and employers make a positive transition into new changes within an organisation.


Even with contingency plans in place during change periods and throughout growth, managers still need to take steps to condition and encourage change over time.


An example of this can be seen with the feud that arose between Coke Cola and Pepsi in 1975. Throughout challenging change, it is important for an organisation to stay positive and motivated to encourage employees to work to their full potential. By conditioning the evident change, it allows employees and employers to have a smoother transition from one step to another defusing any dramatic frictions with the changes happening from stage 1 to stage 2.


Conditioning change provides the additional support that might be needed for employees or employers that may struggle - it’s important to keep them informed as much as possible.


Resistance to change:

It has been argued that during organisational change, it is important not to prioritise the interests of the manager over the interest of the employee. The concept of resistance to change has been transformed over the years into a ‘not-so-disguised’ method blaming individuals for unsatisfactory results created by the change efforts. However, it is also important to remember to avoid creating resistance by assuming that employees and employers will always be opposed to change.


When employees supposedly resist change, this can be due to; being too comfortable with the way the organisation is currently run, the thought of relearning their job role (as requiring too much time, money or effort), fearing the unknown, worrying about potential job loss, poor communication, a lack of trust or simply considering it poor timing. Within a workplace, an employee’s resistance to change is a critical contributor to the failure of any efforts that initiate change. 


This resistance carries information: your employees’ reluctance provides clues about them and their environment. It is important that organisations treat each response as a precious resource to help benefit and create a more positive environment for change.


Organisational change and change management transformation has become a permanent feature of how a business is run. Due to new markets being opened, innovative technologies have resulted in capital flows and investor demands to become less predictable.


So, why do people resist change? Essentially, there are four main reasons:


  • Self-interest. Individuals fear what the effect of change will have on them - a natural response.

  • Misunderstanding and lack of trust. Individual employees fearing management do not have the best intentions at heart - rectified with better communication.

  • Different opinion. For example, stakeholders may not always agree that those who are initiating change are doing it for the right reasons or make the right move. However, resistance for this reason may also highlight issues that have not properly been addressed.

  • Low tolerance for change. This relates to individuals’ abilities to change and going through the transition successfully.


To overcome these issues and resistance to change, steps need to be put in place. If new initiatives seem to fade out before they are implemented and plans for change go nowhere,  these are signs that the organisations and their employees are resisting change. 


Chloe Mellers

Account Manager @ Remus Rewards