Manifestations of resistance

22nd March 2021 1 By indiafreenotes

There are several ways which are reflected through the behaviour of the people to express resistance to change. Occasionally, such hostile behaviour may create lot of problems for the organisation. Aggression or exhibiting ill will are the immediate reaction of an employee towards change. It also be expressed through anger expressed with the subordinates or superiors. An individual may lose interest in the work is another sign.

Complaints and gossip

Another major sign of resistance of implemented changes in an organization is increased complaints and gossip. The employees might not complain directly to you as a manager. They will air their complaints among themselves because they feel you are part of those planning and implementing the change. This leads to the emergence of a grapeview within the organization. These complaints can not only be disruptive but also cause lower productivity.

On the other hand, gossip is a natural reaction of voicing dissatisfaction, but if the manager fails to initiate an open discussion regarding the change and allows the gossip to worsen due to lack of attention, it might lead to huge problems in the company, which might take time to be resolved.

Resistance to change is expressed by different signs, which the manager should be keen to note after implementing changes. However, resistance signs should give you the best time to act and address every issue leading to resistance.

Decision Paralysis

The resistance of change by the employees in an organization makes manager paralyzed in decision making. Not only the manager, the employee also thinks a lot before making certain decisions because of different thought processes involved.

Since your task as a manager is to ensure things are implemented and running smoothly, you cease to be a manager when you cannot make new things happen and can’t make your employees adopt to changes. As a result, the stress and pressure builds up, affecting the team entirely.

Low morale

Low morale is a classic sign of change resistance which you will note as a manager, after the introduction of new changes. If your employees have always had a high morale in their assigned duties, the morale noticeably declines, they become more distant and appear lethargic, new changes might be the main cause.

The low morale makes the employees to lose motivation in undertaking new responsibilities and projects, as they feel uncomfortable. Low morale has a negative impact to the productivity of the organization, which is low productivity.

Lack of adoption to new process

Change Resistance is most commonly observed when employees take longer to adopt to the new changes or even avoid the changes completely.

The resistance to change sign is manifested after the introduction of new procedures in the organization aimed at enhancing their productivity and delivery of services, but resistant employeess continue doing things the same way.

Poor communication

In cases where employees had excellent communication within themselves before change, but changes have resulted to breakdown in communication, it is an indicator of change resistance. In this case, not all employees might be resisting the change, but some avoid accepting the reality that new procedures have been introduced and they do not follow them.

Alternatively, there might be more gossip happening then actual communication. Resistance through breakdown in communication comes differently, by some employees piling up the emails, slowing down the productivity reports and ignoring updates and request of information.

Reduction in productivity

The greatest indicator of resistance by your employees is a reduction in productivity. If what the employees are producing is low or declines with the introduction of change, yet they all remain busy while at work, they are resisting the change.

Even if the changes were meant to increase the productivity, the employees might procrastinate in adopting the new means of carrying the business activities, if they are not certain with the means, or if they are feeling exploited.

In other instances, the employees miss deadlines, and they might blame the change in processes which becomes an excuse for them. This happens mostly when the employees are forced to sign acceptance forms by the managers, as they feel forced to accept the change.


If, before the change, the employees used to arrive on time at work without failure but all of a sudden after the introduction of changes they start being late, then this is a sign of resistance to change. Many employees come on time and even stay till late because they want to actively contribute to work. But if they don’t like the work or the changes that have taken place, they might come late and want to leave early. This is definitely a sign of resistance to change.

Avoidance of new assignments

In most cases, employees welcome new assignments. This happens specially if the assignments help them experience new challenges, explore new opportunities and make new accomplishments. These new opportunities also help them increase their pay and promotions.

The change resistance sign is your employees avoiding new assignments, as they prefer remaining in the comfort zone of their previous assignments, rather than exploring new assignments where they only see the wrongs and not the rights.