Is Change Burning You Out? How to Beat Change Fatigue

With everything we’ve experienced since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, we’ve grown accustomed to the rapid and sudden interruptions of our daily lives. But just because we’ve gotten used to the constant change, doesn’t mean it hasn’t adversely affected us. Change fatigue, the mental strain experienced after undergoing significant or extended periods of change, is a very real phenomenon.

Change fatigue can present itself through physical and/or mental burden, and a lower capacity for accepting further change. A person can only adapt and relearn habits so many times before they start to wear out. Naturally, change fatigue is also very common in the workplace, especially when undergoing Change Management initiatives. That’s why we’re here to help you recognize change fatigue in your team, understand the consequences of letting it go unchecked, and teach you techniques to beat it once and for all.

What Does Change Fatigue Look Like?

Change fatigue can present itself in numerous ways, but some common tells are increased stress and concerns about future change. Your team may be feeling anxious about what’s to come. Communicating with your team to build stronger trust can help reassure them that there won’t be any sudden changes. According to this Prosci article on recognizing change fatigue, some other symptoms of change fatigue can be burnout, low productivity, apathy, or even negativity towards a change initiative. These symptoms, while primarily having to do with the workplace, can also display themselves in people’s private lives. After all, it’s not so simple to forget work stress as soon as work hours are over, especially as many of us work from home. A healthy work life will translate to a healthy home life and vice versa. How can you spot change fatigue? Pay attention to your team’s mood and how they’re faring with their workload. As long as you remain conscientious of others, you’ll be able to see their signs of struggle.

Why Should You Act?

As previously mentioned, change fatigue can lead to some negative short-term and even long-term consequences for your team. Low morale is never good for productivity in general, and you don’t want to be adding avoidable mental strain onto your team members’ plates. Despite all the unpleasant symptoms of change fatigue listed above, the largest obstacle that change fatigue poses from a managerial perspective is change resistance. After having dealt with so much change that it’s worn you out, how would you react to someone telling you that there is a whole new change initiative to come? You