Organizational change: disempowered employees

Imagine a work environment of about 28-30 employees where change is happening, the employees are not particularly thrilled with the changes taking place, however, they are hesitant or even almost afraid to voice their concerns to management due to the fact that efforts to raise concerns or offer feedback have been previously dismissed.  On the surface, it seems as if the staff is receptive to these changes for they merely do as they are told.  And yet, through conversations amongst themselves, there is an air of doubt, confusion, disappointment, a loss of motivation and everything else that comes with not having been consulted prior to the development of these changes.

This begs the question, is management completely oblivious to how the vast majority of individuals feel about these changes? In addition, what would it take for management to create a safe space for a much needed dialogue?  Does management even care to create this kind of environment?

While change is inevitable, and change can also be positive or negative depending on the context, I believe that a lack of engagement will usually lead to resistance whether it be overt or covert. In this particular environment, the resistance is undoubtedly covert; and while this kind of resistance may not directly influence the policies that are being imposed upon the staff, there is likelihood that this could lead to a decline of employee loyalty, decreased productivity, less creativity and so much more. From my perspective this is a lose-lose situation for both sides. With that said, as I critically explore this journey of organizational change, I hope that in due time I will receive some insight on how disempowered employees can rise up to challenge the status quo of a system that sucks the life out of them.

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