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Resistance Management Plan It must be noted that resistance is the normal reaction to change, not the exception.

When introducing a change initiative, it is imperative that the points of resistance are defined and identified. It is also required that the organization develop a strategy for managing resistance to the change. In the majority of cases, resistance is best managed by the direct supervisor or highest level official in the chain of command for that employee. In addressing resistance points, the Resistance Management approach should be prepared and reviewed with the primary change sponsor (SE or EE). As shown below the change perception model depicts the response from various stakeholders to the change process. The journey starts with denial in majority of the cases which would ultimately get completed on the commitment of stakeholder and embracing the change.

Denial Shock







Change Model perception

There are multiple reactions that a stakeholder gives to any change in his/her work culture Denial - Disbelief - Apathy - Numbness - Activity but no progress Resistance - Anger - Depression - Stubbornness - blaming - Absenteeism Exploration - excited/energised - Over preparation (planning rather than action) - Too many ideas/options - Confusion about priorities - Too much uncoordinated independent action Commitment - focused on outcomes/impact - Clear understanding of what to do next - High job satisfaction (managers and staff) - looking ahead to further change - Confident of ability to adapt to change

Resistance Management Process Diagnosing gaps and managing resistance is an ongoing process. The steps to be considered in this process are: Identify the root cause of resistance Address the root cause of this resistance through personal interaction and coaching Provide ongoing coaching opportunities and gather feedback over period of time Communicate the disadvantages of not supporting the change

Ways to manage resistance and bringing out the desire for change Prior to creating a desire for change, there must be an awareness of the need for change, a compelling reason justifying the change, and the risk of not changing. The following methods are suggested for managing resistance and building desire: 1. Listen and understand objections. In many cases employees simply want to be heard and to voice their feelings 2. Focus on the what and let go of the how. This transfers ownership of the solution to employees; employee involvement and ownership naturally builds desire to support the change 3. Remove barriers. The desire to change may be inhibited by barriers, disguised or obvious. These barriers include family, personal issues, money, physical limitations and so on 4. Provide simple, clear choices and consequences. Managers should communicate in unambiguous terms to employees, the choices and potential consequences of those choices 5. Create hope. People will follow a leader who creates hope and enthusiasm for the future, and who is trustworthy and respectable 6. Show the benefits in a real and tangible way. For some employees, seeing is believing, and seeing the benefits of change demonstrated in a practical way can create desire 7. Make a personal appeal. A personal appeal works best where there is a high level of trust and respect, and where honest and open relationships exist between managers and employees 8. Convert the strongest dissenters. Managers can employ creative ways to transform the strongest dissenters into the strongest advocates of change Denial: tell Confront staff (individually or in small groups) with the reality of public services working in the information age, i.e. customer expectations, etc. Explain the reasons for change expect staff to accept the argument but still resist changing.

Explore what is expected changes in behaviour (e.g. working with IT) even if people dont believe in the benefits of change. Show what to do make clear what you expect people to do. Allow time for the need to change to sink in. Resistance: ask Listen to staff concerns and offer support Acknowledge feelings (I didnt come into public service to) Allow complaints Support mourning of loss this may seem like an exaggerated view but we have encountered individuals who have responded to ICT staff training in this way Set up quick wins so that people can build confidence in the new ways of working and see tangible success achieved by others. Exploration: tell Concentrate priorities to ensure against over-enthusiastic chasing up blind alleys Focus Set short-term goals for the team/section/individuals Coaching/training people need most support when things are changing (new skills; expert guidance) Start active teambuilding Commitment: ask Acknowledge success and reward progress

Give feedback in the context of ongoing change Plan ahead but keep plans flexible they will change when they are enacted Develop teambuilding