Reorganizing people and functions can help a company meet new strategic priorities. It may also resolve performance issues, reduce costs, and help in other ways. However, reorganizing teams requires careful consideration of how employees experience change to reduce or prevent their fatigue.
This term refers to a lack of interest or passive resignation towards the changes occurring in an organization. While some people see change fatigue as a fluffy concept that does not require attention, the reality is that more than half of transformations fail. A whopping 70% of organizations that set out to transform are unsuccessful in these efforts. Fatigue can be a major culprit.
During a time when many organizations are looking at how to reset in a post-pandemic era, employees’ ability to change has dropped by 50% (Gartner). With so many changes in the wake of the coronavirus, from moving to home offices to anxieties about personal health and safety, many workers are tired.
It makes sense that employees haven’t been able to “recharge their batteries.” These changes don’t have to be big-scale ones either. Even small everyday changes can affect your team. Of course, some employees have a larger capacity for change than others, which means they are less likely to feel fatigued.
Change fatigue can show itself in many ways. Some of the possible reactions workers may have are disengagement, irritation, weariness, and stress. Unfortunately, feeling depleted or burned out can reduce professional efficacy.
That, in turn, may negatively affect organizational performance. The reality is that the capacity for change is limited, and the sooner that HR leaders focus on the best ways to manage change, the better. As new strains of the virus emerge, and staff receive news from employers of return-to-work strategies, the mental exhaustion may only increase.
In 2022, preventing and reducing change fatigue ought to be on HR’s radar. Expecting employees to be positive and patient may not be reasonable as many receive news of their anticipated full-time return to the workplace.
To help manage change well involves building trust with workers. Offering support and a safe environment for workers are two ways to increase trust.
Also, HR leaders can benefit from asking workers about their thoughts on specific changes that have or will take place. Actively listening to workers’ worries and thoughts can help guide future practices and help them feel actively involved in the process as valuable team members. Doing so can help create a more positive employee experience.
Looking ahead, HR professionals must take the time and energy to manage change. While leaders might assume that offering support when announcing a change is good enough, employees likely need help managing change later in the process.
Providing the help that staff require and involving them in the process may help with reducing the risk of chronic fatigue during critical times. That applies to both day-to-day and big organizational changes.