Research often cited by McKinsey & Company has found that the vast majority (70 per cent) of change management schemes fail to meet their goals. Change doesn’t come easily of course. Humans are creatures of habit so the success of any proposed change will take a great deal of investigation, preparation and communication.

The most common pitfalls are employee resistance and lack of management support. But many aspects of organisational change also impact the workplace. Before planning change, organisations have to understand how these changes impact employees and why it is so common to come up against employer resistance.

Employee experience – a subjective reality

In order to understand the challenges, it is important to see the situation from the point of view of the employee. A study by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2017 found that 55 per cent of people who said they experienced organisational change at work reported feeling chronic stress, compared with 22 per cent reported by those who weren’t experiencing organisational upheaval. These employees also have less trust in their employers and are more likely to say they will seek employment outside the company in the coming year. Inevitably, this is a result of multiple factors.

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