Are you feeling fatigued from change? You are not alone.
Change fatigue can be a significant challenge during times like the ones we are going through. Many organisations need alternative strategies to overcome fatigue. Even when the current difficulties are over, we will likely confront fatigue soon, so I’m sharing five timeless strategies.
In a recent article published by Gartner, Mary Baker states, “Employees’ ability to absorb change has plummeted precisely at the time when more organisations need change to reset”. Regardless of whether change is forced upon us or not, we need better strategies.
I believe that many of us have learned how resilient and agile we can be, despite the pandemic. Even if we take nothing else from 2020 and 2021, this can be considered a good outcome. You and your colleagues are more adaptable and resilient than perhaps you knew before, and you can move forward confidently with this knowledge.
Many of our organisations have also adapted to change remarkably well. Entire ways of working have been rethought, and improvements implemented in record time. They’ve stayed productive. Some organisations have grown in remarkable ways.
Five strategies that can help us adapt to change and overcome fatigue are outlined below.
Create a Sense of Urgency
A real sense of urgency is required for any sustainable change. As mentioned in John Kotter’s book, “A Sense of Urgency”, leaders need to take suitable actions so that the critical stakeholders of the company work in tandem with the changes.
Kotter suggests the leaders take a step forward to improve the existing conditions and create a sense of urgency. This not only gives the employees a better adaptability rate but helps the work too.
Inspire and Engage
The team as a whole inspires one another. To pull off a successful change, the entire team must be on the same page and build a sense of success. It is also beneficial to employ middle managers who talk to ground-level employees. Transmitting the reasons behind significant decisions and convincing them to be a part of the change is always advised. This helps champion the cause a lot more.
Involving the employees a lot more is imperative. When the employees are taken on the journey, the change fatigue does not get to them as readily (if we adopt the other strategies also). They consider this as a new opportunity to prove their capabilities and deliver desired outcomes.
Influence is central to your success. By involving influencers throughout the journey can help considerably. If they embrace the need for change and can with others to adapt to change, your collective success can increase significantly.
But be wary of detractors, who may be influencers. It may not be possible to influence some detractors or ‘bring them into the camp’. Be aware of who they are and determine suitable strategies to minimise any negative impacts which they can have. (This is a whole topic in itself.)
Change Gradually Where Possible
Change should be gradual where possible. A gradual transition is always much easier for people to embrace and reduce the effort needed to achieve outcomes. This gives the other people at the workplace the time to adapt. The faster the rest of the team adjusts to new changes, the fatigue ceases to be an issue. Organising change in bite-sized pieces is preferred in many cases.
One of the best ways is to set short-term goals and achieve them. Working towards smaller goals often gives the entire team a lot more motivation than long term projects which get monotonous after a point. It’s also a way to experience feelings of success and increase our confidence.
Sometimes larger goals are necessary, and I’m advocating for you to consider moving ahead with small and larger goals in parallel, where possible.
Communication with all the employees affected by the changes is essential. It leads to every organisation pinpointing the problems which arise due to change fatigue. That helps the organisations tackle them smoothly and ensure a balanced environment for efficient work.
Concluding Thoughts on Overcoming Change Fatigue
Change Fatigue can be overcome, and in some cases, avoided. However, we need to give considerable thought. Our ultimate aim is to deliver sustainable outcomes and engage as many people in the journey as possible. A well laid out plan is a great place to start and increases our likelihood of success!
Finally, in one year from today, what will you look back and feel proud of (or satisfied) that you achieved with other people? I wish you every success. Let me know if there’s any input you want.
To your success!