February 2023
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TD Magazine

Remember the Human Side of Change

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Consider how stakeholders feel about a change initiative.

When leaders think of implementing organizational change, they often think of new technology, business lines, or process improvements. But there's another critical factor to change: the human element.


In "Create Successful Organizational Change," Scott Span encourages change management leaders to factor in how workers will feel about the change, including their potential resistance. Span explains that employees may resist because they feel a loss of power or influence, have to learn something new, or don't understand the reason for the change.

Change management leaders can help assuage that resistance by listening to stakeholders and understanding their feelings. Leaders also should build into the initiative a robust communication strategy to help employees and other stakeholders such as customers understand the reasons for the change.

Consider these areas:

  • What's in it for stakeholders
  • What they need to know and when
  • How much information they need—for example, an individual using the new process or technology will require different information than a leader
  • Which messaging vehicle is best to reach stakeholders where they are

A change network that includes members from the affected business units can serve as a helpful communications resource, sharing with their teammates how the change will be beneficial.

These tips were adapted from the February 2023 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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