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Why Do People Resist Change In The Workplace?

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Change. It is one of those things that, for one reason or another, tends to elicit a certain amount of fear in most people. As a leader, it is imperative that you not only figure out  what it is exactly about change that your employees fear, but also that you learn how to fight back against that fear.

Whether it is a fear of the unknown, the uncertain or even just the idea of something new and different that scares people, change is something that commonly bothers individuals. If you have recently unveiled a new and exciting change in your office, or perhaps you are planning to make some changes, you first will want to understand why people fear change.

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• Fear of the unknown
• Uncertainty about responsibility
• Uncertainty about the future
• Uncomfortability
• Fear of failure as a result of new changes
• Instability
• Unfamiliarity

No matter what the underlying reason is for the fear of change, it is important, as a leader, to instill acceptance of change within the culture in your office – and encourage employees to embrace change as a welcome sight. Change can, and should be, exciting! But how?

1. Keep everyone informed. From the moment you decide on a change, be sure to let your employees know, too. This will give them adequate time to understand the change, accept it, and embrace it!
2. Reduce the fear of failure. The clearer you are about how and why things will change the more comfortable your employees will feel. This means that you will want to outline the change and how may impact each and every employee. The clearer you can be about roles, expectations and responsibilities, the better off everyone will be.
3. Foster comfortability. Surely you understand the benefits of maintaining an open door policy, but now, more than ever, you will want to do that. This will allow for your employees to feel comfortable and safe coming to you with questions or concerns.

As with anything new, start slowly. You do not want to introduce a huge change quickly. The best thing to do is to implement the change incrementally. This will give everyone time to adjust, and it also won’t feel as much like a huge change happening all at once.
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