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Selling Change

Gartner reports that the average employee experiences 10 planned enterprise changes every year, and they are getting fatigued. Willingness to support organizational change collapsed from 74% of employees in 2016 to just 43% in 2022. Here’s how to gain buy-in.

By Kristin Kiewitz

Kristin Kiewitz, is a business analyst and researcher.

Fighting Change

Gartner says that change fatigue is one of HR’s top change management concerns. “Unless navigated expertly, organizations’ transformation ambitions will stymie, the employee experience will suffer, and “quiet quitting” and attrition will follow.” Also. “the amount of change that the average employee can absorb without becoming fatigued is half what it was in 2022,”

Symptoms reports these potential change fatigue symptoms:


When you need to change to meet organizational objectives and your employees are resisting change, you need to mitigate change fatigue. suggests mitigating change fatigue by taking the following actions:

  1. Acknowledge change fatigue
  2. Celebrate the success of previous change
  3. Change focus – pause big changes and solve some simple problems to build momentum
  4. Go back and confirm or update your goals
  5. Switch things up - create new project teams to encourage and enable new perspectives to emerge
  6. Focus forward - Remind participants what the results and relationships will be when all the dust settles
  7. Stop trying to sell the change once it has happened - give everyone work to do and let them do it.

Prevention advises on how to prevent change fatigue.

  1. Give plenty of warning –“here’s where we are today, and here’s where we’re going in the next quarter.”
  2. Make it clear why change is coming
  3. Explain the benefit to the company mission
  4. Answer the team members’ most important question - ‘What does this mean for me?’
  5. Get people involved in the planning
  6. Listen to their fears to help people to build trust
  7. Celebrate small wins

This is all good advice. Let me add one more idea, one that we include in our projects: We call it “Convert a resistor into a champion”. In each department, we ask to talk to the most outspoken critic and resistor. We engage them respectfully and usually are able to turn them into a supporter. As they remain outspoken in their new role, they reduce change fatigue on an ongoing basis.

If you’d like to leverage our expertise in project management and reducing change fatigue, or if you’d like to comment on this article, please email me at .

This article was published in the May 2024 edition of The TMC Advisor
- ISSN 2369-663X Volume:11 Issue:4

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