Is Your Team Suffering From Change Fatigue?

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Change is good, but sometimes too much change can wear out even the hardiest team member. Especially when the change seems unmotivated and uninspired, in other words, change for change's sake.

That's when employees begin to feel frustrated and start asking themselves - and others - where is all this change supposed to take us? Why do we get change initiatives handed to us instead of being part of their development? And why can't we seem to stick with one major effort at a time rather than trying to change everything all at once?

Good questions. If your team is bouncing from change to change, they're probably asking all those and more, but may not be sharing their concerns with you. The first rule of any serious change effort is to get input from every level of the organization. Find out whether a new global sales system is really as important as streamlining back-office or IT procedures. Just because you're at the top of the org chart doesn't mean you have all the answers.

Here are some other strategies for combatting change fatigue:

  • Go back to basics. Ask yourself what your true business purpose is and whether or not you are you fulfilling it by focusing on your core competencies.
  • Don't confuse change resistance with change fatigue. Determine the underlying causes for resistance - which might include lack of clarity, misplaced sense of loyalty, or employees' fears that their skills may be outdated - and then address them one at a time.
  • Look for change ambassadors, through both formal and informal processes, and solicit their help to keep change initiatives robust, meaningful, and exciting.

For more on organizational change and employee engagement, read my book Capture the Mindshare and the Market Share Will Follow. To learn about overcoming resistance to change and developing risk-taking behaviors, read my You Unstuck: Mastering the New Rules of Risk-Taking.