August 24, 2022

Opportunities-Obstacles Quotient (QO2) Profile


Most people have the lived experience of a 'management change'. These are changes that impact the way your employees work, the office they work in, or how they are managed. In some cases, it may even be the introduction of new technology, a new policy, or changes to work hours.

No matter the situation, it is inevitable that some people will exhibit a level of resistance to change. This resistance can arise from different emotional sources: factors internal to the organisation may include individual team member dynamics, with external factors extending to anything including the threat of redundancy. The source of employee resistance may not be obvious at the beginning but for the observant leader it will become clear.

In some cases, there is a genuine reason for concern, but in other cases, your reaction to the resistance is key. Before you make a change, consider how you plan to handle any resistance. It is a good idea to ensure you have the full support of your managers and senior colleagues to avoid any unanticipated backlash from above and below!

Some key things to consider when implementing change are:

1. Determine the Cost of Resistance

If you are planning a change in the way that your business operates, before making the change you should assess both the cost of resistance and the value of overcoming it.

You should be able to identify the cost of resistance in terms of:

  • The disruption in routine and team morale. This can be particularly important when you are introducing new members to a team. Existing members will likely feel that their working status is threatened.
  • Any financial impact on the company: increased costs, increase in overtime or reduced productivity from current employees due to distractions caused by resistance will all have an effect on profitability.
  • You should also consider the possible impact on brand and customer loyalty. If people are unhappy they are likely to take it out on your business and be less inclined to recommend you.

The cost of resistance is not always logical, however, you must be aware of the short-term and long-term impact; in some cases, the loss may be so great that it is not worth continuing with your change.

If you determine there is value in overcoming the resistance, then you will need to develop a plan in order to reach a successful outcome. And you can develop a plan by taking the following actions.

2. Determine Change Management Strategies

One of the first things that you should do is sit down with your team and get a clear understanding of their concerns. You may find that some of the issues are based on misinformation or misunderstandings, which you can easily clarify.

In other cases, your team may have genuine concerns but have not felt empowered to articulate them. This is particularly common when changes are being introduced through middle management, rather than senior management.

Some examples of change that can drive employee concerns and resistance include:

  1. Where more advanced computer equipment and software are being provided. The greatest fear is that someone will be forced to use a particular piece of equipment that is not appropriate for their work, or that the new equipment will make employee roles redundant. 
  2. Remote working and technology. In some cases, people can feel threatened by changes to their working environment, whether a new office or remote working.
  3. Hours of work; particularly for those who do not like to work a full day or those who want to start and finish earlier than others. Working hours are often dictated by the flow of business. Emergencies can arise which means that people have to work outside of their usual times but in most instances, this is not common enough to justify special treatment based on specific lifestyles. Over time, people will adjust to working hours as long as it does not undermine the quality of their jobs.

Because some of these issues can be minor, and even subjective, for some people, yet significant for others, you will need to determine the best way to communicate your intentions and reasons for change. You should be prepared to be flexible where you can; particularly if the cost of resistance is high, or if your change will lead to significant improvements.

Managing employee resistance to change is never easy, but it is the most important step to take before implementing any form of change as this helps your employees embrace change much more readily and easily.

August 24, 2022

Opportunities-Obstacles Quotient (QO2) Profile

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Opportunities-Obstacles Quotient (QO2) Profile