Saturday, June 13, 2009

Do employees really resist change?

I'm finishing up some new research looking at how rate of change affects employees. It builds on a body of work that I've been doing examining how rate of change affects firm performance. When it comes to firm performance, on a 0 to 100 point scale, rates of change at the 80th percentile seem to be associated with the highest performance. There's more to the story, but this is the easy way to think about it.

In this new data, we're seeing that employees who are experiencing change personally at the 80th percentile range have the highest scores on attitude surveys, experience higher levels of employee engagement, and they are higher performers.

So that is interesting. Don't we say that people resist change. Is this assumption no longer valid in today's new bold always changing world?

3 comments:

Ralph Meyer said...

Could it be that organizations are changing and not employees? It is possible that our employees always have had the capacity to change and deal with change but our organizations were to paternalistic (parent child)to allow it.

Michael Coates said...

well my experience says that human nature cant accept the changes suddenly. it take some time to accept the changes.

Theresa M. Welbourne said...

I have some interesting new data on this topic. We've been collecting survey data during change and also analyzing the data using something called a change lens. We have information on the amount and type of change people are experiencing. So we can track things like energy and engagement or confidence as they go from low to high change and back. Counter to what I would expect, much company data shows that people are more engaged and more confident as change goes up. The worse case scenario is when their personal amount of change is significantly different from the company level of change or the change around them. We still have a lot to learn about change. I fear that we are so dependent on pretty old models of change that we're not questioning the status quo.

Thanks so very much for your comment.