Why is it that most people are resistant to change of any kind, even when it will actually make life a bit easier for them?  Change is difficult even when your life depends on it.  I read an article recently that said that when cardiac patients were told what changes they needed to make in their life-styles in order to extend their life that 90% of the time these patients could not make a permanent change to do it.  That is pretty amazing, you would think that if your life depended on a change that you would do it, but that is just not the case.  So knowing this,  I guess I can kind of understand why when changes happen in the workplace that they can be difficult for some employees to adopt to. There are several reasons why employees do not like change, below are the top three, can you add to the list?

1. The changes that were being made took the employees out of their comfort zone.  They had been so use to doing things one way that it had become habit and not much thought actually had to go into it anymore.  They were on auto-pilot.  No use changing the recipe when the soup tastes pretty good as it is.  When we have to leave our comfort zone many issues arise and make us uncomfortable with thoughts like, “I may not be able to do my job as good as I do now, then what will happen to me?”

2. Employees were not given enough information as to why the change was necessary, so in their eyes it was not necessary.  If they do not understand what the benefits to the company are for doing the change then it will be difficult to get them to buy into what changes need to happen without them becoming resistant.

3. Because changes causes people to have to change the way they do things, they view this is more work.  If you are requiring them to do more work (or work in a different way) then they feel that they should be compensated for it in some way.  The resistance sets in when they feel that the effort to make the change is not worth the same compensation that they were getting paid before having to go through the trouble of making the change.  The feel the change is worth more money.

Clear communication and preparation is required far in advance as possible when you are going to be making any type of changes in employees work loads or work tasks.  Full explanation needs to happen and understanding as to why the changes need to take place and what the benefits are going to be not only for the company, but for the employees future with the company as well.  By planning months in advance for changes that need to come and discussing the possible difficulties that may arise you are preparing your work team for what is going to take place, no surprises and they knew plenty in advance.  It may also help that during the changes the you meet often and discuss any difficulties that are arising so that everyone can air their struggles.  And another thing that might really help when going through any transition is to “treat” your employees in some way so that they can have fun and know that you realize that change is difficult, but you appreciate their effort in bringing it about.

Related Article Employees Resisting Change