Change fatigue is defined as a general sense of apathy or passive resignation towards organisational changes by individuals or teams. Research has indicated that 70% of transformation efforts fail, often because of change fatigue.
However, the reality is that change is the only constant today. Organisations have to change in order to meet the needs of customers as well as remain competitive in a global market, whether because of technological changes, economic climate, growth opportunities or simply as challenges to the status quo. It can thus be argued that the notion of change fatigue is no longer valid.
It has been suggested that some of the ‘symptoms’ of change fatigue are burnout, disengagement, increased signs of stress, confusion and cynicism. Although fatigue is acknowledged and understood, it has become somewhat of an excuse. One could argue that doing too much of anything results in fatigue. Yes, this is true, but instead of falling into the change fatigue cycle, begin empowering yourself to handle the changes in the workplace.
Below are three thoughts to keep in mind in order to prevent feeling overwhelmed by change and to empower yourself:
- Many of the changes implemented don’t work as proposed. There may be glitches along the way, but it takes time to learn from mistakes. Find solutions and remedy problems – be patient.
- Change, any change, always requires more work at first. Until team members learn the new ways to do the tasks and accomplish the new goals, it will take more work and time. Accept this – it will not be forever.
- Change is perpetual and will never stop, even though that sounds scary. No matter how hard you try to resist it, you will only end up losing against the change battle. Rather embrace the change and see it as an opportunity for new beginnings.
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Daniel Lock Consulting (2017). 14 Symptoms of Change Fatigue. Retrieved from http://daniellock.com/14-symptoms-of-change-fatigue/
Perlman, K. (2011). Change Fatigue: Taking Its Toll on Your Employees? Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2011/09/15/can-i-use-this-method-for-change-in-my-organization/#64e0af791ce6
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Stark, P.B. (2016). 8 Strategies for Effectively Dealing with Change Fatigue. Retrieved from https://www.peterstark.com/strategies-for-effectively-dealing-with-change-fatigue/