What Punishment for Unwilling Employees?

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Change Management Iceberg > Best Practices > What Punishment for Unwilling Employees?

What Punishment for Unwilling Employees?
usswa larib, Student (MBA), Pakistan, Member
My question is this: when an organization wants to bring change in the organization, we know that if employees are in favour of the change then we reward them and if they are not then they are punched.
So in what way we punish those employees who are not in favour of change?

Punishment to Unwilling Employees?
D P BABU, Strategy Consultant, India, Member
A change strategy needs to break the conventional mindsets and shape them towards newer goals and values. While evolving the change strategy, necessary tools and techniques are to be devised for changing the existing perceptions of employees unwilling towards change, by making them understand the value proportions necessitating change. Of course, the carrot and stick approach is also one among the techniques, but only to a certain percentage of employees.

Dealing with Unwilling Employees
ashlam nohur, Management Consultant, Mauritius, Member
Redeploy them and put people who are willing to have the change in their positions.

Punishing Unwilling Employees
Mtukula, Entrepreneur, Malawi, Member
I am in agreement with D.P. Babu. Often managers react to people who don't want change by installing fear in them and/or threatening to fire them. Though this might eliminate the problematic employees, those left behind will not be happy with such kind of punishment and might resolve to passive reaction to the change. The future employees upon hearing such actions might continue the passive reaction tradition.

Unwilling Employees
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
Perhaps the thing to do is to understand why there is resistance. Would you rather have all of the employees stating they agree with the change, or would you prefer some of the employees stating they do not agree? I think organizations can learn from people who resist change. It does not hurt to listen.
Punishing any opposition will not result in positive change. It will create poor morale and a lack opf innovation. People need to be able to express their ideas and thoughts. When I was told "get on the bus," I quickly found another job where the employer encouraged open discussion and dialogue. The result was more ideas, creativity and innovation.

Even Positive Employees Could be Against the Change
Andrea Kelly
In change management you will have persons reacting negatively and positively. Remember that among the ones seeming to be positive there could be opportunists, just pretending to be on board.
I agree with D. P. Babu that we must use tools and techniques for changing perceptions and attitude of employees. It may be the way we sell the change. We are dealing with human beings and human beings react different based on their perception.
This does not mean though that everyone will be won over. Management must decide based on the strategies employed whether a person will fit into the scheme of things - it is envisioning whether the person will bring that negative disposition into the new way forward and like cancer affect the other employees. Thus threatening will not work, but the employment of necessary tools and techniques will, followed by weighing the results and making the right decision.

Punishment to Unwilling Employees
Mayank Sharma, Manager, India, Member
Any kind of punishment to employees unwilling to change might trigger a wave of passive reaction among others.
In such cases top management needs to act as a role model and participate in the process actively, this will create a level of confidence and among employees. It will also curtail such passive reaction as employees will understand the seriousness of management to make such change happen.

Top Management as Role Model
Andrea Kelly
I certainly agree with you Mayank. However there are sometimes still passive reaction and I have an example right here in our organisation. Sometimes people are just bent on doing their own thing and do not share the vision, mission and objectives of an organisation. That person has to go which will be subsequent to have one-to-one interactions, formalising the way forward and analysing the results from investigations. Some people are just not the right fit for a role and may be suitable for another role or just not the right fit for an organisation.

Direct Involvement ..
Gianguido Bragagnini, Manager, Italy, Member
A change management process creates always 2 kinds of reactions:
1. A solid resistance from those which will be "shot" by the innovation, and
2. A tepid welcome (Ed: ~half warm) from those which will have benefits from the introduction of new processes.
An efficient management of these dynamics leads to the success of the operation. So, talking about "punishment" could compromise the entire project of innovation, because our collaborators have to be persuaded through direct involvement, positive relationships and continuous sharing of information.
In other words, a change management process is a cultural change of the organisation, which must commence from the participation of the entire staff, in order to introduce the innovation from the base to the top management level.

How to Bring About Change
Jagdish B Acharya, Consultant, India, Premium Member
First of all, never use the word 'punishment' in the process.
How to Bring About Change?
1. If a person agrees, fine.
2. If he does not agree, find the reasons:
A. If the reason is right, rethink the change or the way of bringing about the change and start from 1.
B. If the reason is not right and he is unable to understand this:
B1. If one can carry out the change without affecting the total system in spite of him and he is useful elsewhere, shift him there and do the change.
B2. If he cannot fit elsewhere and he cannot change ask him to part ways and get someone else who will work along.
Do this process (2) with all who do not agree. If their number is small, the change will be successful. If the number is large, the leader may be changed.
Put this in a flow chart to understand its logic.

Careful Evaluation of Resistance to Change
Andrea Kelly
I certainly agree with you Jagdish about evaluating why there is resistance to the change and then making the right decision. This is what I was stating before not punishment. As far as I am concerned it does not make sense continuing a process with an individual who will not agree after thorough evaluation and trying to nurturing and assisting the individual to accept the change and getting his/her views. This person will be an impediment to the whole process.

Punishment to Employees Unwilling to Change Doesn't Work
Dr Robin C Hesler
I agree with @David Wilson: There is always a reason for resistance and finding out why is the key to determine what tact to take. It is important for everyone to understand the change, assuming the change is proved valid, and see that all leaders have bought into what needs to be changed. From that you can monitor through various means who is resistant to the new direction and then talk to the person to see why they are resistance. There is always a good reason from that person's perspective. If it is a minor change then if it works they will later buy in. If it is a major change then you might suggest that they may wish to leave and offer them help to do that. Punishment only causes resistance and infects other people as Mtukula and Mayank states.

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