The Effects of Change on Employees

by George Lawrence J.D.; Updated September 26, 2017

When people work together, it is natural that they become close and familiar with one another and at least remain cordial. Over time, routine sets in and the employees start to feel comfortable not only with their job security but also with each other. When a change is introduced, employees often resist it and the status quo becomes disrupted.

Create Factions

According to a writer on Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business website, change in the workplace creates two factions: those who cope with the change and deal with it head-on and those who shy away from it. The writer further explains that the employees who cope with the change often try to get ahead with the new management or otherwise treat the change as a form of challenge which they strive to overcome. In contrast, those who shy away from the change may ultimately end up quitting the job because of it.

Loss of Confidence in Management

Change may bring about a loss of confidence in the overall management of the organization, according to Skip Reardon on the website Six Disciplines. Part of the reason, Reardon suggests, is that many employees do not believe the management handles change effectively. The lack of confidence could result from a failure on the part of management to effectively communicate the effects of change, the reasons for it and the ultimate goal in the organization with regard to the change.

Fear of Loss of Job

Changes in an organization may cause employees to begin to feel less secure about their jobs. Depending on the type of employee -- one who copes with the change or one who shies away from it -- the effect of this fear may vary. Employees who cope with change but fear the loss of their job may be inspired to work harder and prove themselves. Those who struggle with change may become less productive and overly cautious.

Resistance and Acceptance

According to Oliver Recklies, writing on the website Themanager.org, the ultimate effect of change is acceptance of it. After some resistance, the status quo eventually returns to some degree of normalcy. The end result depends on how the management handles change with regard to the business’s employees. An organization that handles change ineffectively may find that, once the resistance to change settles down, key employees have left the company due to the change.

About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.