One of the most recalcitrant challenges that confront business executives is employee resistance to change initiatives. Employees may portray their resistance to organizational change in a number of ways such as increased transfer requests, economic slowdowns, job quits, and sullen hostility. Business leaders are, therefore, tasked with the responsibility of overcoming resistance to change by employing various strategies that deem fit.
One of the ways through which a leader can overcome resistance to change that might lead to people losing their jobs is through effective communication. Such communication needs to be timely and regular. Communicating the intentions to change early can give employees enough time to synthesize the change and look for other jobs early before the change is implemented. In such cases, the chances of resistance will be low compared to when change is announced and implemented abruptly. Resistance to change can also be tamed by showing willingness to compromise (Bruckman, 2008). For instance, if the change is to be implemented in six months, and employees who are likely to lose their jobs request for eight months, compromising the plans will significantly reduce resistance.
Organizational leaders can implement various strategies to deal realistically with employees losing job positions as a result of change initiatives. For instance, leaders can offer support, and most importantly, psychological and emotional support as a way of helping the employees to transition into the new realities (Battilana & Casciaro, 2013). Additionally, creating short-term wins can help reduce resistance, as well as foster acceptance of the change initiative. An example of a short-term win would be awarding monthly or quarterly packages to those losing positions.
While resistance may occur due to varied reasons, such as anxiety or fear of the unknown, change in status quo, or threats to personal security, the fear of job loss is among the reasons why a majority of employees resist change initiatives. Leaders can overcome resistance to change that might lead to job loss through effective and timely communication, and through a willingness to compromise. Organizations can create short-term wins and offer support to employees who lose their positions as a result of organizational change.
Battilana, J., & Casciaro, T. (2013). Overcoming resistance to organizational change: Strong ties and affective cooptation. Management Science, 59(4), 819-836.
Bruckman, J. C. (2008). Overcoming resistance to change: Causal factors, interventions, and critical values. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 11(2), 211-219.