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Respond to… 

Resistance is a symptom that can be expected when change occurs, just as change is inevitable in the business world. According to Quast (2012), change is the only constant variable in business and can have an interesting effect on how people resist change. There can be numerous reasons for resisting change. The author Lisa Quast, of the article “Overcome the 5 Main Reasons People Resist Change,” presents five reasons as to why people resist change: fear of the unknown/surprise; mistrust; loss of job security/control; bad timing; and an individual’s predisposition toward change (2012). Three reasons for resistance that resonate with me are fear of the unknown/surprise; loss of job security/control; and an individual’s predisposition toward change.
Fear of the unknown/surprise can be a serious factor that contributes to resisting change. Fear can be crippling and can cause a person to feel unease, stress, anger, and resentment. Organizations should always inform and prepare their employees and other stakeholders for change. According to Quast (2012), resistance from stakeholders happens when change is initiated without first being informed about it or with sufficient warning and not helping them through the change process or comprehending what the change process includes or how it affects their jobs, then people will resist out of fear and uncertainty.
Loss of job security/control is another reason that can create fear, anxiety, stress, cause low morale, and can cause employees to lose their trust and faith in their company. Losing the loyalty and trust of their employee base can be disastrous for an organization. According to Quast (2012), loss of control or job security can cause resistance when organizations undergo downsizing or an organizational restructure which leads to fear in workers that they may be fired, laid off, or be transferred into another position without consent.
An individual’s predisposition toward change is one of those factors that can difficult to overcome. In this instance, organizations would need to have leaders and managers who are skilled at helping those who resist change to ease into change and help them cope with the change. According to Quast (2012), tolerance for change is different in everyone, as some may encourage change because of the opportunities that change brings such as learning something new or for personal and professional growth, while some people despise change or are suspicious of it because it interferes with their routine and thus resist change.
I believe that in my role as a Sales Executive at AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation (ABC), the reason for the change that would likely be the most critical would be fear of the unknown/surprise. I believe this to outrank all the other reasons for the change in that fear of the unknown can embody so many different variables. Even compared to loss of job security/control, most of my fellow co-workers, including myself, have at one point or another in our time at ABC, have either jokingly or seriously said that we wished we worked somewhere else or that maybe we would be better off losing this job so that we could find or be forced to step out of our comfort zone and find another job where we would be appreciated, valued for our experience and work, and be paid accordingly. For instance, for me, if I were to lose my job I already know what my concerns would be…paying rent and bills, buying food, and having to scramble to find a new job. However, fear of the unknown I would have no idea what change is coming, what consequences this change will bring, and how this change will affect me. While I cannot speak for my co-workers, from past discussions with them about company issues, I believe that this would also be the case for them.
As a leader, I would overcome the fear of the unknown/surprise, by always keeping my employees and co-workers in the loop with all relevant information regarding the change, the company, and how company issues and change pertain to them and with complete honesty and transparency. According to Palmer, Dunford, and Buchanan (2017), “attributing problems to resistance can obscure the ways in which management practices contribute to change implementation problems. We thus have to explore the various dimensions of what is commonly termed resistance, and ask whether this term, with its negative connotations, is commonly termed resistance, and ask whether this term, with its negative connotations, is still a helpful one” (p. 250). I would not pretend or assume that I know what their fears are but would instead ask them to tell me what they fear and why so that we could work together to help minimize or squash those fears. I would ask for their feedback and help in the decision-making process. I believe that in doing so, I would help to reinforce loyalty and trust as well as foster better relations between the organization, management, and the employees. I would also help them to cope and adapt to the change and help to motivate and empower them to continue in their roles. This will help to increase morale, job satisfaction, and help them to feel valued and appreciated. When employees are happy and content and feel that they have some control, fear loses its power.
References
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.) [Electronic version].
Quast, L. (2012). Overcome the 5 main reasons people resist change. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2012/11/26/overcome-the-5-main-reasons-people-resist-change/#21f85b253efd (Links to an external site.)

Respond to…

Three resistors of change may be fear of the unknown, mistrust, or loss of job security. (Quast, 2012). These three resistors of change are really important because they can help an organization be able to analyze why the organization is failing when trying to do a change initiative. I have been parts of lots of change throughout my career and one thing that I have been a part of is when employees lose trust in the leadership. Losing trust and gaining trust are both extremely difficult for the organization. The employees need to be able to understand why the change is happening and understand how it is going to benefit them and the organization. At the same time, they need to understand the why behind the change and the reason behind that  change in total. Sometimes if communicated improperly it can cause damage to the relationship between the leadership and the employees. Which would then cause the mistrust to occur and most employees will not be bought into the change. As a leader, there are a few things that one can do to gain trust. One of them may be hosting a major conference call to announce the change and the reason behind it. As well as, sending out a major email to the organization and letting them know how it is going to benefit the company and why they decided to choose this change over another one. 
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.) [Electronic version].
Quast, L. (2012). Overcome the 5 main reasons people resist change. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2012/11/26/overcome-the-5-main-reasons-people-resist-change/#21f85b253efd

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