Fear of Organizational Change? Become a Part of the Solution

There are many different theories about why a human being is afraid of change. It is the glooming uncertainty of not knowing what happens next, the interruption of known patterns, and over the course of lifetimes formed habits and the mere notion of change being connected to more work that makes us anxious when we are confronted with change.

The Brain on Change

All these aspects lead us back to human evolution and our ancestors, as they not only needed food and shelter to survive but were also dependent on social belonging, as a higher mortality rate has been connected to poor social standing through social isolation. 

From a neuroscientific perspective, change is so scary because it affects the brain’s sense of stability. When things change around us, whether in our private or work life and the brain sees this change as a threat, it reacts with as much avoidance and resistance towards the change as possible, which we perceive as the fight or flight mode. 

How human beings react to a certain external stimulus such as change is presented as an outcome of the emotional and logical aspects of our thinking. However, if intense emotional reactions are being evoked, these feelings can take over the decision-making process. 

Especially in the workplace, it can be seen as unprofessional when an employee reacts emotionally towards a notion of change, as it is still up to this day mostly a transactional and rational environment. This brings in the contradiction of how human beings react to change in the first place, as resistance and avoidance are driven by the emotional center of our brains.

Trust in the Process

Managing change in a workplace defines all activities that evolve around adjusting and altering a consequential part of its organization and structures. These changes appear within the work culture, hierarchies, technological infrastructures, or general internal processes. 

Generally, organizational change management consists of 5 steps. Firstly, the change employers need to be made aware of the change and it is important for them to also recognize the need for change including their opinions on eventual appearing challenges and problems. 

Furthermore, a vision and plan of the change and its implementation, the actual implementation of the change, followed by the deeper embedded menu into the company structure through planning and habit formation, as well as lastly the analysis and review of the change and its outcome. 

When it comes to managing these steps in the workplace in the most optimal way, it is important to understand that the only thing that can prevent employees from reacting hesitantly toward these changes and turning these 5 steps into success is trust. 

Trust can be broken down into its core elements, which are integrity, openness, competence, consistency, and empathy. Only if all these factors are available in the communication and engagement of the employees towards the change, the implementation will be successful.

Create Solutions through Involvement

It is crucial for employers to not only understand why things are changing from an organizational aspect but also to agree with the change on a personal level. 

This can be challenging, as every individual within a company theoretically works towards the same goals within the common values of the company but is still being shaped, even within the workplace through their own personal experiences and habits. 

Managing change and building trust within the company can be achieved in a successful way when these differences between people are being taken into consideration and how the notion of change is being represented to each of them. Furthermore, it needs to be ensured that the employers are able to voice their concerns and opinions as well before, during, and after the 5 steps of integration of the change into the corporate structures. 

Having an efficient way to present change, collect suggestions and ideas from employers, and let them be a driver of the change in an engaging and trustful way helps the company to archive the change with less resistance by the employer but also evokes the feeling of ownership within each employer of the change due to being able to shape solutions. 

The WeSolve platform is a digital tool that makes it possible for you and your employers to implement change in whatever shape and form together as one entity.
Guide your workforce through the notion of organizational change in a trusting way and be open to being guided by them when it comes to implementing solutions and alternatives.
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