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The 2005 Best Practices Report identifies the top five reasons front line employees resist change as:
Proactive and reactive resistance managementManaging resistance during any business change should include both proactive planning and reactive interventions. All too often, teams rely exclusively on reactive measures when resistance has already resulted in productivity loss and wasted time and resources.Proactive resistance management involves systematically identifying where resistance might come from and what it might look like. The team identifies critical gaps and possible points of resistance, and addresses them before they even emerge. Proactive resistance management requires planning by the team and intervention from sponsors, managers and supervisors.Reactive resistance management is in response to specific points of resistance. In the reactive situation, the team must listen to employees and identify the source of the resistance. Specific action steps should be developed, communicated and implemented. Resistance management planA resistance management plan is a proactive approach to managing resistance. During the first phase of your change management plan it is important to identify potential resistance points. As your project implementation progresses, additional areas of resistance may surface. Below are the four action steps to creating your resistance management plan:
Define what resistance may look like for your change and how it may be identified.
Brainstorm with the change management team and project team
Brainstorm with the stakeholders and sponsors .
For each level with the impacted organization, define a strategy for managing resistance to the change and prepare job aides. Refer to the resistance management process (this can be found in the Change Management Pilot). In most cases resistance is best managed by the direct supervisor or highest level manager in the chain of command for that employee.Managing resistance is not the sole responsibility of the change management team or change management leadBe sure to include a strategy for those impacted audiences such as internal and external customersYour strategy should include the WIIFM (what's in it for me) for each level Prepare and review the resistance management approach with the primary sponsor.
Communicate this resistance management plan to managers and coaches in their change management training sessions.Scale your resistance management planResistance will come in all different shapes and sizes, depending on your specific change.
The table below highlights critical considerations regarding the customization of your resistance management activities based on the size of the change and the attributes of the impacted organization. Resistance management customization gridresistantOrganizational attributesreadyspeed in dealing with resistance = slowseverity of consequences = initially minor with growing severityresistance management strategy = proactiveprimary coach = supervisorspeed in dealing with resistance = quick and decisiveseverity of consequences = severeresistance management strategy = anticipate resistance, proactively manage resistanceprimary coach = direct supervisor, highest level in chain of commandspeed in dealing with resistance = slowseverity of consequences = minorresistance management strategy = reactiveprimary coach = supervisor or project teamspeed in dealing with resistance = moderateseverity of consequences = initially moderate, ultimately severeresistance management strategy = reactiveprimary coach = direct supervisor, highest level in chain of command SummaryAs a project team or change management team you should expect resistance, but proactively manage and minimize that resistance to the best of your ability - you will not be able to eliminate resistance. The top five reasons employees resist change and gives you a starting point to proactively manage resistance on your project and customize your resistance management plan to your change and your organization.
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