In the context of change there are three kinds of people…
- People who CHOOSE the change (i.e. the decision-makers)
- People who DIDN’T CHOOSE the change, but BELIEVE in the benefits of the change AND want to CONTRIBUTE to making it a reality
- People who DIDN’T CHOOSE the change AND don’t understand WHY it’s necessary NOW
Unfortunately in most organisations the vast majority are category 3 people and this group of people is set up with a number of challenges from the outset, they are:
- Unclear about the end goal (the why and why now) and therefore are unable to make sense of the change and see the meaning in the hard work they have to do to make it a reality.
- Due to the lack of clarity of the goal (the vision and why of the change) this group of people doesn’t enjoy the benefit of being physiologically rewarded for the progress they are making towards this goal (dopamine).
- Experiencing higher degrees of uncertainty and stress (cortisol), due to not knowing the goal and outcome of the change and how their work directly contributes to this goal. As a result they’re capacity to think rationally, innovate and work collaboratively is significantly reduced.
This group of people will not feel personally invested and empowered to make the change happen and this is a missed opportunity to optimise connection and engagement among staff during a time when this is crucial to offset the levels of stress.
Bringing people together behind a common goal enables greater human connection and recognition of each person’s contribution, which is physiologically rewarded by releasing happy chemicals in our bodies such as serotonin (offsetting the impact of the stress hormone cortisol).
Change resistance and change fatigue are only symptoms of the above challenges, they are not the cause.
If you are worried about your employees’ well-being and think it’s caused by the volume of change they are impacted by, please consider this…
At our core all human beings want to pursue meaningful work, create meaningful change and want to be recognised for the contribution they bring. If you are able to address this core need as part of your change program, you will find your staff will thrive and your change will be successful.