15 factors that impact how your employees’ respond to change

We all know that ‘change’ is a part of life – a part that some of us look forward to and welcome, and a part that many of us find terribly stressful. Every one of us will have been part of some kind of organisational change – a restructure, a new system, a new process… And no matter how this change is positioned – each occurrence of organisational change is an individual and  hugely personal experience.

There are a number of factors that influence how a person is going to respond to a workplace change – many of which are outside the control of others. Yet knowledge of some of these factors can be very useful in both planning for and managing your team through a transition.

Taking the time to reflect on each of the 15 factors described in David Lee’s post in Talent Management and HR can help you make some choices that may assist others in responding in a more favourable way.

Here is a summary of the 15 factors:15 factors that impact how people respond to change


Let’s consider some of them:

  • Control – research tells us that the degree of control a person has in a challenging situation is the number one factor in influencing their stress level. What opportunities are there to consult with team members in planning the change ahead? People are more comfortable when they can influence outcomes. People don’t necessarily fear ‘change’ per se – they fear the loss that might come with it.
  • Understanding – how well are you able to explain the reasoning behind the change? What is your compelling argument? What is your WHY?
  • Clarity – research shows us people can cope with good news, and they can cope with bad news. People can’t cope with ‘no news’. What is your communication strategy and how often are you keeping in touch with people – even to tell them ‘you don’t know that answer’ yet?
  • Relationship with supervisor – how strong is your relationship with team members? Those who have a strong, trusting and open relationship will facilitate better opportunities for people to work through their responses to change – one of the key factors that influences how well they respond. You need to work on this now! Get some goodwill in the bank!

When working through thinking about these 15 factors, actually imagine the person concerned when doing so. Consider how each factor may look from that individual’s perspective. You can then make a much more informed choice that considers the personal side of organisational change.

Click here to access blog post by David Lee.