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How does a Mediator identify
employees resistance to change?

person standing next to arrows
What role does fear play in employees resistance?
Security has always been a central need for humans. One of the biggest challenges in digital transformation age is insecurity. Post pandemic, the change in job security landscape has never been so fragile. When you look at the industries that are rolling out robotic processes, automation, and AI, employees who are working with them are really challenged and in the short term they are very wary.
Transformational change in any guise is so easy to highlight and placed on display as it looks better for the organisation. It is also so easy to forget about the human side of that change, particularly if there is a substantive material change in employees’ jobs even though in some cases, in the longer term it may look better for the employee. In such situations, the most well-intentioned employees are going to fear change either because they don’t understand the future, or the organisation doesn’t clearly define the road map for the employees what their future state is going to be.
What factors influences a Change Management Mediator to identify resistance to change?
A Change Management Mediator will explore the issues and concerns of the employees in the conflict and the reasons for the emotional reactivity to exist. This is otherwise known as identifying “the root cause” of the problem. Within the change mediation process, employees are free to explain the impact of the change, their experiences, feelings, relationships within the organisation before, during and after the change process. The Mediator will ask,  has the implementation of the change management within in the organisation’s business initiative been right with the employees? If not, why hasn’t the employee been bought in by the change? During the mediation process, there will be a chance for the Mediator to actively listen to the employees’ offload and from an impartial point of view ask open and exploring questions about what the change means to the employees. So let's look at the Maurer model.
The model suggests that up to two-thirds of significant changes will fail due to employees lack of information, negative emotional reactions or lack of trust and confidence in a person or organisation trying to implement the change initiatives.
Common sources of employee resistance behaviours:
  • some level of loss in their daily lives
  • not understand what the changes are
  • lack of trust in the leadership
  • fear of the unknown
  • sense of the lack of control over their work environment, eg hours, duties, locations
  • fear of the threat to job security
  • change in workload, redesigned job description, responsibilities, who report to
  • Being stretched too tightly
  • Change in behavioural requirements
  • Not being developed enough
  • Not being listened during the change process
  • Exclusion or limited from the consultation and decision-making process.
  • The lack of understanding for the purpose of the business detail reasons for the change.
  • Change being destabilising, stressful, overwhelming.
  • Loss of control over work environment
  • Improper planning or initiatives when the change was being introduced.
  • Role being eliminated or reduced.
  • Lack of support and resources for employees to successfully navigate the change.
It will be necessary for the Mediator to step into the shoes of the employees and identify each perspective contributing to the resistance making time to support the employees in an emphatic way and towards a more positive outcome, when it comes to change management initiatives.
 infographic Maurer's resistance to change
Winnie Onyekwere LLB LLM


You can leave a comment, ask a question, share your perspective below. Alternatively, if your organisation or business is experiencing resistance or conflict and you are looking for mediation to support your organisational change or business initiative through a transition or digital transformation, contact Concilium Mediation for a discovery call to see how we can help you 


0333 3444 945

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