Behavioral reaction to change is common in most businesses that conduct organizational change. In fact, the way employees perceive change determines how they react to it. Although organizations try to minimize resistance to change, some reactions are unavoidable (Senior and Swailes 31).
One behavioral change observed is disengagement. Disengagement causes employees to withdraw from change psychologically. In most cases, employees appear to be disinterested in the job. These kinds of employees tend to fear change but do nothing about it. In fact, they simply hope for the best. In this case, employees do the basics because they are deficient in drive and commitment.
Another reaction observed in employees during change is disidentification (Grant and Marshak 204-235). Disidentification makes employees feel threatened by change. This occurrence makes employees feel vulnerable. Disenchantment is also another reaction to change. Disenchantment involves anger. This type of behavior can bring about sabotage by employees. Moreover, issues such as backstabbing may result from disenchantment. This behavior tends to bring aggressive reactions.
This kind of behavior is contagious within the workplace. Moreover, disorientation is another reaction to change observed in organizations. Disorientation causes employees to be lost and confused. Employees who are disoriented tend to ask many questions (Homan 25). In most cases, analysis paralysis is observed as a common characteristic of disoriented employees. This behavioral reaction is common with employees who believe in clear goals and unambiguous roles (Alvesson and Karreman 1121-1146).
Human resource has the role of ensuring the implementation of change within an organization. This can only be achieved if HR handles reactions to change effectively. HR has the responsibility of dealing with disengaged employees by drawing them out. The HR should help employees to air their feelings. This can lead to productive discussions. HR can also support employees during change management by providing support and empathy to employees who cannot deal with change. HR should encourage open communication with employees on issues regarding the change. Moreover, HR has a role of providing emotional support to employees to help them deal with change (Jos, Marjolein, and Homan 798-818).
HR should have concrete plans for dealing with resistance early enough to implement change successfully. HR can also create counseling sessions to help employees deal with resistance to change. HR can also support individuals during change by helping bring disenchanted employees back to a neutral state. HR should also acknowledge that anger is normal for employees dealing with change. This can help the managers to get to the core of an employee’s reaction. HR should also support staff by explaining ambiguities that may be present in the proposed change. Furthermore, HR should diagnose each behavioral reaction to provide the best management strategy (Abraham 1).
Abraham, Mireille. Behavioural Resistance to Change. 2007. Web.
Alvesson, Mats, and Dan Karreman. “Decolonializing Discourse.” Human Relations, 64.9 (2011): 1121-1146. Print.
Grant, David, and Robert Marshak. “Toward a Discourse-Centered Understanding of Organizational Change.” The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 47.2 (2011): 204-235.
Homan, Thijs. Organisational Dynamics, The Hague: Academic Service, 2010. Print.
Jos, Pieterse, Caniëls Marjolein, and Thijs Homan. “Professional discourses and resistance to Change.” Journal of Organizational Change Management, 25.6 (2012): 798-818. Print.
Senior, Barbara, and Stephen Swailes. Organizational Change, Harlow: Pearson Education, 2010. Print.