There are challenges in an organization every time something significant changes. Some of the challenges are personal, some evolve within work teams, and some challenges emerge across the organization. To successfully engage in organizational change, you need to be aware of the challenges and be prepared to deal with them professionally and confidentially.
Breaking Down Resistance
Change typically generates at least some resistance. Individuals often feel that they are losing power, autonomy, or resources due to a changing work environment. As a result, they cling to the status quo. As team members engaging in change, your role is to challenge yourselves, persuade others to lower their resistance, and focus on positive outcomes.
One of the biggest challenges of change engagement is simply getting people to take change seriously. During periods of change, individuals often take a "wait and see" attitude, neither embracing nor resisting the change. Your challenge is to inspire yourselves and others to embrace change, support it, and even become champions for it.
Change often generates anxiety. Individuals are more likely to embrace change and teams function more successfully, when anxiety is at a minimum. Your challenge in minimizing anxiety is to understand the plan for change, to express your level of commitment to the plan, and to recognize that the plan and your role in it will evolve during the change.
Organizational change may breakdown cooperation. During change, organizations often observe the "silo effect" between departments, functions, and work teams when groups begin to function independently of departments or teams whose responsibilities overlap with theirs. Cooperation and communication during this time are at a minimum. As participants in organizational change, you are challenged to break down those walls and build bridges of cooperation between organizational functions.
Establishing Correct Priorities
When the work environment is changing, there is typically confusion over priorities. If you are getting a new manager, for instance, you may wonder what will he or she thinks is the most important priority or what you should focus on to emerge from the change successfully. The best way to meet the challenge of organizational change is to plan for it carefully.