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Everyone knows change is hard.
However, we also recognize that is a necessary part of the work we do. We cannot grow or develop if we do not change.
Prolonged periods of change can bring fatigue. Change fatigue is the impact of organizations enduring one significant change after another without relent. It is another form of burnout.
Change fatigue leads to apathy. And eventually, employees move through the changes without really changing. They weather the storms but they do not fully embrace or sustain the new ways or principles conveyed.
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They fake the funk. And your workplace stinks.
You’re trapped in change fatigue. You end up feeling frustrated and confused on why things aren’t working as they are designed. And 70% of organizational changes fail because they cannot get beyond the fatigue.
So if your organization is suffering from change fatigue, here are some things you can do to get over the plateau and get moving again:
- Acknowledge it … The first step to overcoming the fatigue of change is recognizing that it exists. We cannot change what we don’t admit. Honesty will help your team open up again and be willing to go the next mile with you.
- Look back … Change fatigue can only happen where some successful change has occurred. If you hadn’t made progress, you wouldn’t be tired. Highlight and celebrate the positive milestones.
- Change focus … Change fatigue often leads to impasse. Instead of drawing lines in the sand, back up and build new momentum with some easy success. Grab some low-hanging fruit. Identify and solve some less difficult challenges.
- Go back … Often the goals we set at the beginning of the change have to change as we get into it. New priorities and needs come to the forefront, forcing us to change focus. Take a moment to revisit and resolve issues that got put on the backburner.
- Switch up … Working with the same group can get stale. Make a new rotation. Create new project teams to encourage and enable new perspectives to emerge.
- Skip ahead … Nothing makes it easier to embark on a change when you know the end from the beginning. Move beyond the fatigue by fast-forwarding to the ultimate goal. Define what the results and relationships will be when all the dust settles. Allow freedom for everyone to move toward that goal.
- Cut communication … Change fatigue happens when the change is all you talk about. Stop talking about it. Stop encouraging people to accept and embrace the change. The change speaks for itself. Give everyone work to do and let them do it.
Change fatigue is dangerous. Failure to recognize and address it can ruin any progress made and keep you from reaching your goals. Stop it in its tracks and keep pressing toward being the best you can be.