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Excelerate Consulting | Change Management Experts

What Are The Seven Strategies For Addressing Resistance

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Seven Strategies For Addressing Resistance

Here are some best and proven Strategies For Addressing Resistance in change managment for change managers!

1-Articulating the ‘Why’ of Change 

Building the business’s need for change and the consequences of not changing is crucial. Employees have different needs based on their preferences and styles of thinking. According to Myers Briggs Type Indicator, there are diverse ways individuals receive the message and make sense of it. Some people want to see the big picture, and some want to know the details. Certain personality types like to know if the leadership is competent to lead this change, whereas others would be concerned about the emotional impacts of change.  

2-Strategic Communications 

Leaders are storytellers. Build a hopeful narrative of change early on by equipping leaders with effectively communicating the essence of change.  

Two -ways communication is critical. Creating opportunities, such as town halls, lunch and learns, and open forums, work well to get early engagement as people have opportunities to ask face-to-face questions. Leaders’ visibility and presence in these forums are crucial. 

Another strategy is to build an employee feedback loop to ensure two ways of communication. Examples include the employee steering committee, change champions networks, and change catalysts and influencers.          

Other considerations include the timing, the message, and the messenger of communication.  

Engaging stakeholders early through accurate and timely information is vital for engagement and early buy-in.

3-Visible Leadership Support and Commitment 

One of the best Strategies For Addressing Resistance According to PROSCI ‘active and visible support by executives is the most significant contributor to change success. Change is a journey, and the senior leadership team has the vision of the destination. They need to take their people with them for a successful outcome. 

Firstly, they need to be involved directly by communicating and presenting at the opening or launch events. Sponsors and senior leaders need to make their calendars clear so they can attend several events. 

Secondly, they must be at the front and centre of momentum-building energizing events, for example, roadshows, leadership forums and company social media presence. 

Thirdly, they build a coalition of their peers and increase the scope and impact of change. They show consistent presence and are always visible in meetings and events, talking enthusiastically and honestly about the change. 

Fourthly, executives and senior leaders need to stay active and visible throughout the change process. Their support and visibility are crucial from phase one to all the stages, and they also need to own the post-launch or sustainability phase. 

Finally, they become the face of change by demonstrating the espoused change in their behaviour and walking the talk. They build strong relationships with the project and change management team. Allocation of resources and support decisions to make the change possible depends on the executives’ and sponsors’ decisions.    

4-Gain Supervisors’ Commitment

Supervisors and superintendents are very close to the frontlines. If these groups are engaged early, coached, and managed well, the project is more likely to succeed. Supers are also good role models to see how new behaviours and practices are adopted and demonstrated. Since these are ‘boots on the ground’ groups, they may lack complete knowledge of the change, the scope of change and the impact on people.

They may also not be skilled in how to lead teams through transition. As part of the change plan, it is vital to coach and mentors these leaders on ‘Change Management 101’. Educate them on several phases of change, the scope and the impact on people. Please provide them with tools and strategies and arm them with tips and techniques on transitioning their people through change. 

5-Leveraging Employee Champions 

Employee champions are a fantastic group of enthusiastic and motivated individuals to accept and be part of the change. They have several names; each organization is different. Influencers, Catalysis, Power Users, and Employee Champions are the most common terminologies used for these groups. These groups provide feedback and become a sounding board to assess the effectiveness of change activities. The change project team invites these groups to meetings and asks for suggestions, advice, and input.         

6-Training, Coaching and Mentoring

Training employees on a new system or technology is crucial. There are several options, including virtual, hybrid and in-person training. Change managers collaborate with the training team to roll out the training plan—the dates and timeline as embedded in the change project timelines. Training is customized according to the level of impact on employees. One size doesn’t fit all. 

Coaching is essential when it comes to managers and frontline supervisors. They need to be coached on change management, change momentum building and supporting their teams through transition. Several coaching models and techniques are available. 

Mentoring is effective in an informal way of connecting with these groups who are either overwhelmed or unskilled in managing and leading change. Mentoring relationship is less structured, and in a safe and friendly environment, information about image and its impacts is shared. Some success stories or challenges are also shared. Mentoring plays an effective role and sharing during transition and change in an unsupervised environment.    

7-Keeping the Momentum up 

Change momentum means keeping people energized throughout the process. Change is built through communications and making change visible by tangibly showcasing the entire process. People need to be informed at every stage of the change about WIFFIM (what is in it for me). In many cases, there is high momentum at the start, and then it slows down, leaving people back to their old routines and practices. 

An effective change momentum strategy keeps the impacted population engaged and involved throughout the change. There is also a great need to have a post-go-live or momentum sustainment plan. Once the difference is launched, there is a danger that people might go back to the legacy system. Constant change momentum keeps people on track to get used to the new environment. 

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