In the trades, we’re seeing things change left and right, especially in manufacturing. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution transforming factories, “technology taking over” is a legitimate fear many tradesmen have. In addition to fearing the unknown, people resist change for various other reasons:
- Loss of control: Change can make people feel like they have less influence over their circumstances and resistance is an attempt at controlling the situation.
- Comfort with the status quo: Change disrupts routines and takes effort, leading to resistance from those who prefer the familiarity and ease of the status quo.
- Lack of understanding: Individuals who don’t fully understand the reasons for a change may resist because they don’t see a clear purpose or personal advantage.
- Past experiences: Negative experiences with previous changes can create a sense of skepticism and resistance to new initiatives.
- Perceived threat: Employees may perceive change as a threat to their job security, triggering resistance as they attempt to protect their interests.
One of the biggest challenges companies face is resistance to change. It's important for people leaders to recognize these reasons for resistance and take steps to address them when rolling out changes.
In this blog, we discuss some key terms related to workplace change and how to introduce change to employees effectively.
What Is Change Saturation In the Workplace?
Change saturation occurs when changes happen so fast and frequently that employees or the organization itself cannot effectively absorb, implement, or sustain them. In simpler terms, it's like trying to pour too much water into a small bucket—it overflows, causing a mess.
Next, we explain change fatigue’s meaning. While change saturation is concerned with the whole organization’s capacity limit to change, change fatigue in the workplace centers around the personal impact of change on employees.
What Is Change Fatigue In the Workplace?
Change fatigue in the workplace refers to a state of mental and emotional exhaustion that employees experience in response to continuous or frequent changes within the organization, often in a short period. Change fatigue manifests as stress, anxiety, decreased motivation, and lower job satisfaction among employees. It can lead to resistance, burnout, and reduced productivity.
To mitigate these pain points, employers must be mindful of the quantity and pace of change being implemented in the workplace. Let’s review some tips on how to introduce change to employees.
How to Introduce Change to Employees
When it comes to change, you need to do more than introduce it, you need to manage it. What we mean by that is something called “change management.” Change management is a structured approach to leading people through organizational change.
In our podcast, The Future of AI, 4IR, Change, and Women In Manufacturing [Part 2], we discussed an example of change management in the trades:
One agricultural manufacturing facility lacked welders so they implemented robots to supplement their workforce. The robots weren’t meant to replace existing welders, but the welders were resistant to them anyway. By working through a change management process, the manufacturer was able to get the welders on board and adopt the innovation. It wasn’t easy, and it took time, but they achieved their goal and the change was successful as a result.
Here’s a simplified overview of what a change management process looks like:
- Plan: The most effective way to introduce change in the workplace is by planning for it. Begin by clearly defining the change, why isn’t necessary, and assessing its impact on the organization.
- Communicate: Early, transparent, and often communication is key. It involves informing employees about the upcoming changes, explaining the rationale behind them, and keeping them updated throughout the process.
- Engage: Actively engage and involve employees in the change process. This can include seeking their input, feedback, and addressing their concerns. Employees who feel part of the change process are more likely to embrace it.
- Train: There will inevitably be a learning curve when implementing changes. Prepare employees for the pending change by upskilling or reskilling them with the capabilities needed to operate in a new environment.
- Monitor: Change doesn’t happen overnight. Continuously track the progress of the change implementation and be ready to make necessary adjustments as it evolves.
- Celebrate: Make your team the heroes of the story, emphasizing their importance during a change initiative. Recognize and celebrate small wins and milestones throughout the change process to boost morale and motivation.
Augment Your Workforce With Skillworkers
As a skilled labor travel staffing agency, Skillwork is the bridge between tradesmen and employers across the U.S. While we’re well aware of the benefits technology brings to the trades, we also know that highly skilled workers are still vital to your operations.
Whether you need a tradesman who’s qualified to operate the technologically advanced machinery you just installed or a temporary worker to step in while someone on your team upskills, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help augment your workforce with highly qualified tradesmen from across the country.