Research has identified five key factors affecting how people respond to organisational change. Leaders and managers therefore need to pay attention to these things if they are to manage change effectively.

  1. Nature of change – the type and nature of change will provoke different behaviours in different people. For example, a buyout of one company by another may cause some people to feel positive (‘this is an opportunity for new investment’) while others will see it differently.
  2. Consequence of change – clearly this is significant and should not be under estimated. Inevitably there will be ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in any change.
  3. Organisation’s history – what’s the organisations track record in managing and implementing change? Does it have a record of success or failure? Clearly people will be more confident and less anxious if the former is the case.
  4. Type of individual – personality is a major determining factor in response to change. Some people will be very pragmatic and just want to ‘get on with it’, while others will see things differently and have the view that ‘if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it!’.
  5. Individual capacity – this is a combination of an individual’s skills, previous exposure to change, experiences and level of confidence. An individual may have the time, confidence and personal capacity to make the changes being asked of them. Alternatively they may be anxious about getting the day job done as well as having to learn new skills.

Understanding the key factors that affect an individual’s response to change is vital if a manager is to successfully manage change.

Change is a constant and managers need to have the skills and be able to manage change effectively.  Our 2 day in house Change Management Skills course will equip your managers with the skills to do just that.