Change Management Objections and How to Handle Them

Change management may be one of the most dreaded parts of any business and rightfully so, as the majority of change management strategies fail. Some experts say the change management failure rate is as high as 70%. An alarming thought if your organization is embarking on change. It is only natural that employees at all levels of organizations can see change management as a negative thing that is destined to fail. However, as we all know change is necessary to move any organization forward, it is imperative for any leader to understand how to address employee objections regarding change as part of their change management strategy. Below are the most common objections to organizational change and solutions to overcome those objections and move forward strategic initiatives involving change.

Objection: It is too much work.

Solution: Implement change management strategies in stages. Avoid “change fatigue” which causes burnout due to an excessive amount of changes all at once.

Objection: I will lose my job or be replaced.

Solution: Communicate that the change is designed to improve their role by addressing current pain points and challenges, not to remove their role. Address the employees fear of job loss by showing how they are still of value to the current and future state of the organization.

Objection: Learning will be too challenging for me.

Solution: Create a formal training program before implementing any change to their roles. The training program must ensure that it will provide them with the skill set required to do their role successfully after the changes have been executed.

Objection: I do not trust or support the individual leading the change.

Solution: Choose multiple individuals at all levels to be champions of change. Failure to have champions at all levels can result in employee resistance to change and disengagement as they may not personally like the individual advocating change and will ultimately resist. Having a champion at all levels helps employees see that the company has done their due diligence to see how the change impacts the organization at all levels.

Objection: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Solution: Create a very clear vision of the strategic changes and communicate it often with employees. Show the positive impact that it will have at all levels of the organization.  Get individuals excited to embark on a new journey that will make the organization more effective and efficient than before!

Objection: It will take too long to see the results.

Solution: Create short-term wins. To ensure employees follow through on strategic goals requiring change, celebrate simple gains instead of only focusing on the end result. This will help engage employees by showing them progress toward the long-term goal.