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We, as human beings, have always resisted or rejected anything that seems new or unfamiliar. As a general rule, it is not the proposed changes that people resist, but the impact that the changes will consequently have on them, personally. Given some time, people develop the tendency to become comfortable in the jobs they are doing, in the relationships that they have, both personally as well as professionally, in their areas of expertise etc. Even in situations where they are not satisfied with what they have, any hint of change always faces some resistance. 

In an organizational structure, helping the employees anticipate difficulties and informing them about how these challenges will be handled, can be a source of comfort to them. When an organization proposes a large-scale change, those affected begin to worry about how their jobs will change, what new skills they might need, whether their responsibilities will change, how established lines of communication will be altered, and how working relationships will change. Some common employee reactions to change include confusion, denial, loss of identity, and anger. And this resistance is not limited to employees—managers and executives may be just as prone to experiencing problems with a radical change in the organization.

resistance to change

If organizations change the way they view change, the change can become an opportunity rather than a threat. How corporate management responds to employee resistance can ultimately determine the fate of the organization. If the employees display a sense of confusion or if they keep questioning constantly, it goes on to show that enough information about the change was not provided to them. This situation can be used as an opportunity to convey additional information to employees, such as reiterating the big picture and why the company is working so hard to redefine its corporate culture. This is also a good time to provide assurances that the management is going to take out the time to address all the concerns that they may have.

Another common reaction is doubt or denial that actual change will occur. This reaction occurs sometimes because employees do not want change, and at other times because they do not believe that the management is fully committed to the idea. A possible related reaction could be anger, sometimes accompanied by attempts to sabotage the company’s efforts to change. Employees who so visually make their feelings known, in a way, let the management know of the ways how they can address them. It also opens up areas for negotiation.

VComply Inc.


Resistance to change, as put forth by Kurt Lewin, affects managers and employees equally when systems undergo change. As such, resistance is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can be dealt with in a constructive manner. Management can help by anticipating common reactions and using them to their best advantage. For instance, if an employee is able to make requested changes to his or her performance but not willing to do so, some negotiation might be all that is required to convince that person to follow along with the company’s new direction. For those who buy into the need for change but lack some of the necessary skills, targeted training could be all that is needed to quell the fears of those people. Whatever the resistance an organization encounters, it is almost a guaranteed part of change, which has become a constant in the business landscape. 

So, question the status quo and change. Try VComply, a cloud based GRC SaaS tool which will revolutionize the way you manage your Compliance, Governance and Risks. Embrace the change and see the difference. 

To know more about VComply, click here

To know how to effectively manage change in your organization, click here.

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