Organisational change calls for new ways of doing things. Besides, it alters the way of thinking. Bovey and Hede allege, “People have trouble developing a vision of what life will look like on the other side of a change. So, they tend to cling to the known rather than to embrace the unknown” (2001, p. 374). It is hard to predict the nature of employees’ reactions to the implemented changes.
Employee resistance should not always be perceived as a hindrance to organisational growth. Instead, it should be understood as a power waiting to be unleashed. Consequently, employee resistance contributes positively to change management.
Bovey and Hede (2001, p. 376) allege that for an organisation to avoid employee resistance, it ought not to make mistakes from the very beginning when implementing change. Employee resistance makes institutions to craft superior change execution procedures, which contribute to the success of the organisation.
According to Bovey and Hede (2001, p. 377) a corporation can avoid employee resistance by capitalising on the fervour and optimistic feelings surrounding a change. In other words, employee resistance helps corporations to identify employee interests and exploit them to achieve organisational goals.
The organisations develop structured change management approach when implementing changes. Eventually, the approach helps the organisation to ensure that it adheres to all the requisite steps, thus guaranteeing the success of the intended change. In many instances, employees resist changes whenever they find that the changes might lead to a total alteration in their departments.
Therefore, organisational leaders use a systematic approach, whereby a change is introduced in phases to mitigate employee resistance. Some may argue that the method slows down change implementation. However, it is imperative to note that employee resistance gives human resource an opportunity to review and analyse the change, therefore ensuring that it is worth its execution.
Additionally, organisations ensure visible and active involvement by senior leaders as one of the aspects of structured change management approach (Eilam & Shamir 2005). A corporation cannot succeed in change implementation if it does not get support of the senior leaders.
At times, organisational leaders leave all the responsibility of running business activities to the junior leaders and employees. In the event of the change, employee resistance brings all the staff together leading to a concerted effort. The involvement of senior managers in change discharge helps the organisation to benefit from the skills and vast experience that the managers possess.
An organisation can, therefore, come up with cheaper and efficient ways to implement changes. Besides, involvement of senior leaders in change management promotes employee commitment. It is difficult for a company to implement changes without bringing all the workers together (Eilam & Shamir 2005).
Hence, leaders use advocacy as one of the tools of change management to reduce resistance. At long last, employee resistance leads to the establishment of a team of staff united for a common goal. The employees realise that the change is intended for their good and the good of the entire organisation.
According to Elving, employee resistance has forced organisations to establish a formal approach to change management (2005, p. 130). Elving argues, “Managing resistance should not be solely a reactive tactic for change management practitioners” (2005, p. 133). He asserts that employee resistance is a blessing in disguise.
Organisations have come up with a couple of proactive steps to deal with employee resistance during change execution. For instance, corporations have come up with reward schemes aimed at encouraging employees to embrace changes that would see the organisation improve its profit margin.
Ultimately, employee resistance has led to institutions coming up with reward and contingency measures aimed at encouraging creativity within the organisation. The rewards act as mitigation to any adverse effect that might arise from the changes. Majority of the present innovations have come as a result of employees embracing changes.
In a way, employee resistance has helped the employees to benefit from their creativity. Organisations reward employees who embrace changes and come up with novel products and services as a way to encourage them and avert resistance (Erturk 2008). Employee resistance promotes communication within the organisation, which is crucial to the success of an institution.
According to Erturk (2008), communication is a critical component of change management. It reinforces change realisation by ensuring that all the stakeholders contribute to the change discharge process (Erturk 2008). During change implementation, organisational leaders collect feedback from the employees to understand their perception and conformity with the change.
The feedback helps the managers to identify gaps and come up with measures to avert potential resistance. There are claims that employees resist changes due to personal interests. What many people do not understand is that some employees resist changes if they believe that the changes may have adverse short-term or long-term effects on the organisation.
Employee resistance makes organisational leaders to use communication to create an atmosphere where every employee feels that the change is inevitable. They ensure that employees feel that the intended changes will be of immense benefits, not only to the organisation but also to the staff (Pessoa 2008).
Additionally, employee resistance compels organisational leaders to call for workshops or seminars where employees are enlightened on the intended changes. The workshop creates a platform where employees inform the leaders about the dangers of the planned change if any. In other words, employee resistance establishes an environment where organisational leaders can learn from the workers and vice-versa (Oreg 2006).
In due course, the corporate leaders make modifications in the intended change to ensure that it meets the anticipated objectives. Departmental managers and front-line supervisors are contiguous to employees, who eventually embrace a change. If they do not commit themselves to a change, the probability is that employees will resist the intended change (Pessoa 2008).
On the other hand, if departmental leaders and supervisors commit themselves to a change, chances are high that employees will support the change. Hence, employee resistance prompts organisations to give the corporate managers and supervisors the mandate to identify and address resistance to change management.
Consequently, corporate managers and front-line managers ensure that they monitor every step of change execution. In so doing, the organisation is guaranteed that the change will run as anticipated without hitches since the managers identify and address the hitches before they affect the organisation (Pessoa 2008). What’s more, the managers train the employees on how to execute the change leading to an institution benefiting from a skilled workforce.
Change is the sole thing that is guaranteed in modern organisations. Consequently, institutions need always to be prepared for changes, which might arise due to changes in the business environment. Employee resistance has compelled corporations to come up with new methods of change management.
Organisations capitalise on the fervour and optimistic feelings that arise from employee resistance. Additionally, employee resistance prompts senior leaders to show full commitment to changes. It triggers cooperation and communication between the staff. In the end, it encourages creativity and innovation. The resistance guarantees thoroughness in change execution as departmental leaders and front-line supervisors make sure that they monitor every stage of change discharge.
Bovey, W & Hede, A 2001, ‘Resistance to organizational change: The role of cognitive and affective processes’, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 372-382.
Eilam, G & Shamir, B 2005, ‘Organizational change and self-concept threats: A theoretical perspective and a case study’, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 399-421.
Elving, W 2005, ‘The role of communication in organizational change’, Corporate Communications, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 129-138.
Erturk, A 2008, ‘A trust-based approach to promote employees’ openness to organizational change in Turkey’, International Journal of Manpower, vo. 29, no. 5, pp. 462-483.
Oreg, S 2006, ‘Personality, context, and resistance to organizational change’, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 73-101.
Pessoa, L 2008, ‘On the relationship between emotion and cognition’, Nature Reviews: Neuroscience, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 148-158.