Depending on the circumstances, change can be either exhilarating or excruciating. 

During the autumn months, people travel from all around the world to witness the incredible changing colors of the leaves in Maine. The change from lush greens to vibrant reds and oranges is a sight to behold and one that is anticipated by many all year long.

On the other hand, countless people remain employed at jobs they hate because the thought of a career change is more terrifying than the alternative. Their fear of change is stronger than their feelings of dread as they work at a monotonous or stressful job that is no longer satisfying.   

Whether change is feared or revered, it is inevitable.

The best way to deal with change is to embrace it and learn resilience strategies to manage it.  In the workplace, that begins with the leader recognizing that employees have dealt with their fair share of change over the last few years, and no matter how well they’ve handled it, its cumulative effect has most likely resulted in change fatigue. 

In addition to learning how to build resilience in the workplace and helping to prevent and cope with change fatigue, it’s also important to engage a corporate wellness consultant or resilience speaker. A corporate wellness consultant or resilience speaker’s knowledge and expertise will help guide your team as they learn to accept change in the workplace and implement resilience strategies to successfully manage it.

What Causes Change Fatigue in the Workplace?

There are plenty of factors that contribute to change fatigue in the workplace, most of which are out of your control. While that can feel like an insurmountable challenge, change always creates opportunities if you are open to discovering them.  

As the leader, your team turns to you when determining how to handle change. When you set an example and provide them with strategies for accepting change in the workplace, you will motivate them to follow suit, leading to a more productive workforce and greater success for your organization.

By understanding what can cause change fatigue in the workplace, you will be prepared to help prevent it.

1. Too Much Change in a Short Period of Time

In some ways, our battle with Covid-19 feels like a lifetime ago, and in others, it seems as if it was just yesterday. Even after the shelter-in-place was lifted, the ebbs and flows of the pandemic continue to affect us in many ways. While they have all been impactful, they aren’t all negative. Remote work and virtual school has benefited many of us, and the advances in technology necessary to keep our world spinning during the pandemic has made our lives better in almost every case. Other changes, though, have been devastating, as many of us have dealt with the loss of a loved one or a job. 

Depending upon the situation, change can be wonderful or awful.

In business, as we begin to see signs of normalcy returning around us, companies are rolling out new initiatives and changes. As a leader, it’s vital that you monitor the energy levels of your employees before considering any organizational transformation. 

Notice whether your team is exhausted, overwhelmed or anxious, or if they are energized, motivated and inspired. If they seem to be exhausted, they will be more likely to resist new ideas due to the change fatigue they are experiencing in the workplace, whereas if they are excited and looking ahead, they may be ready to embrace change.

2. Employees Won’t Accept Change in the Workplace without a Strategic Plan for Execution

Oftentimes, leaders work hard to develop a change strategy, but then once it’s handed off for implementation, they feel as if their role in it has been completed successfully. Unfortunately, what this early departure exhibits to employees is that the leader has disengaged from the change and no longer endorses it.  

Successfully managing change in the workplace requires the leader to remain involved from execution to completion.

In order to create a successful work culture transformation, leaders must undertake thoughtful strategic planning and remain engaged throughout the entire process. When employees realize that their leader is invested in an initiative and committed to its success, they will be more motivated to help make it happen and it will be much easier to manage change in the workplace.

How to Manage Change in the Workplace to Prevent Change Fatigue in Employees

It is vital for the leader of an organization to recognize that everybody deals with change differently and to have patience and empathy throughout the process. The practical strategies outlined below will help you support your employees through inevitable change and allow them to discover ways to create opportunities for growth and success.

1. Acknowledge That Change Is Inevitable

As the saying goes, “knowing is half the battle.” This is never more true than when it comes to change. Once you’ve accepted that change will happen no matter how much you might wish it wouldn’t, it’s easier to find ways to manage it.  

As a leader, recognizing that change is part of life, and work, with your employees goes a long way toward helping to prevent change fatigue. Part of that recognition is the awareness that not all change is negative.  

When you remind your employees that there are many benefits that can arise out of change, you will help them learn how to embrace it. By modeling your own ability to be open to new ideas, try new things and become change-proof, you will inspire your employees as well.  

2. Understanding Why Change Must Happen

Sustainable change in an organization begins when every employee has a complete understanding of why the change is necessary and how it will positively affect them and create success overall. When the leader clearly communicates this information on a regular, consistent basis, they’re much more likely to increase buy-in among employees and motivate them to help make the transition happen.

An influential change management speaker is an important ally for a successful leader.

A leader needs to be upfront and accessible throughout the entire process and having the support of an expert is critical to ensuring this happens. They can help you craft a strategy to continually remind employees why the change is necessary, explain what makes change fail and recognize and appreciate your team’s hard work. Change can be challenging, but when a leader engages in clear communication and focuses on employees’ needs, it can be an exciting time of growth for everyone involved.

3. Communicate Effectively

Communication is the key to successful change management. Your team needs you to keep them updated on any upcoming changes before they happen and provide them with all the information they need to fully understand how the changes will affect them and their work.

Leaders must encourage open communication so that your team feels comfortable sharing their concerns, feedback and ideas.

4. Be Flexible

If communication is the key to unlocking effective change, then flexibility is the alarm code. Once it’s been disarmed, you have the ability to move about freely. Sometimes change can’t be forcefully managed head-on and being flexible enough to find ways around it is imperative to successfully moving forward. 

A leader’s flexibility directly correlates to an employee’s ability to cope with change. 

Most of us are creatures of habit who find it difficult to adapt to new situations, which is why it’s critical to be flexible in our approach and be prepared to adapt our strategies as needed. Not every change will go according to plan, but if you can accept that as part of the process while remaining open-minded and supportive, you will help your employees find ways to embrace change and thrive in spite of it.

5. Encourage Resilience in Employees

Employees who are healthy and feel supported are more resilient and better able to navigate change. Leaders who place a high value on the overall well-being of employees and help them become more adaptable when changes arise will lead to greater productivity and success for the organization as a whole.  

Some of the ways an organization can foster greater employee well-being is through building resilience in the workplace. This can be done by creating strong organizational values that are clearly communicated, promoting a healthy workplace culture, working with a resilience keynote speaker, offering valuable benefits, implementing corporate wellness programs and encouraging employees to utilize their PTO benefits

By supporting employees in the ways that matter to them, you show them that they matter to you.

6. Take Feedback from Employees

As a leader, it is crucial that you not only accept feedback from your employees during change initiatives, but that you encourage it. This allows your employees to have a voice in the process and promotes understanding, trust and willingness to accept the change. 

Invite regular feedback so that you are able to stay up to date on how your employees are feeling, and more importantly, take action on any information you receive. This will help you prevent change fatigue from running amok within your organization. 

Being transparent, listening to employee concerns and taking appropriate action are all important steps on the journey toward successful change management in the workplace. 

Combat Change Fatigue with a Change Management Speaker

Change doesn’t have to be challenging. With effective strategies in place and the support of a change management speaker, you can successfully guide your team into and through any organizational transformation. 

Transform change from excruciating to exhilarating to achieve greater success.