The Secrets of Managing Reactions to Change


This guide exposes the most common mistakes around managing employees during change” and takes you through the different reactions to change and how help people move forward.


  1. The common mistakes that managers make
  2. The strategy for getting it right
  3. The “How To” checklist
  4. Other useful resources


Not involving employees in the change; the change may be non-negotiable but consulting employees on HOW it is implemented is desirable.

Insufficient information; give people as much information as you can at the right time.

Lack of enthusiasm on our part; if we are not enthusiastic how can we expect other people to be?


Well three strategies really:

  1. PIE: Participation, Information, Enthusiasm
  2. One secret ingredient for success is the PILOT Approach. “Let’s try this as a pilot and review it in 3 months.” If it has worked no one will remember to review it. If it hasn’t worked you were right to try. review, amend or throw out.
  3. And finally…….imagine your employees standing on this grid on the floor of your department, and who would be standing in each box (you will need to download the free ebook for this image). Then we can start to think about how to manage those reactions constructively.

The How To Checklist

  1. Who is likely to respond actively to change and see it as an opportunity? (Change agents)
  • Give change agents some responsibility where they can lead or influence others
  • Keep an eye in case they get over-enthusiastic and turn people off
  1. Who is likely to respond actively to change and see it as a threat? (Resistors)
  • Some resistors react well to being given a key responsibility; others are best left to come round. Still consult and involve them but bide your time.
  1. Who is likely to respond passively to change and see it as an opportunity? (Bystanders)
  • Bystanders are just waiting to see how things pan out. Their ideas for improvements should be implemented, as long as they have a chance of success. You might like the idea too much but give it a go.
  1. Who is likely to respond passively to change and see it as a threat? (Traditionalists)
  • Traditionalists hark back to the good old days but they must have some idea of an improvement that could be made. Implement their idea if at all possible. They may feel threatened or maybe just think that the ways of working they are comfortable with are the best.


Download the free ebooklet here. Sign up for the next in the series of Managing Change below, bottom right.


In our video How To Manage Reactions To Change, you can see a manager progressing through the checklist and how she finds ways of helping people cope with the changes more effectively.

In our e-learning module Managing Reactions To Change we combine two videos along with some interactive exercises to help you get results.

This ebook has covered the basics of managing change but it’s only the beginning.

We’ve been building our leadership and management development business, elconsulting, for over 20 years now. During that time, we’ve been fortunate to enjoy a lot of success but we’ve also made our share of mistakes.

What if you could benefit directly from our years of experience and avoid those mistakes?

We’ve got something to share with you. We call it eltalking, the people management toolbox, and it’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>