Updated: Sep 21
4 tips to address change saturation in today’s environment
It is an inevitable fact that change will happen. Changes in our life or work should be expected and are often meant to create positive results. However constant or mounting changes can result in negative effects with consumers feeling worn down mentally and sometimes physically. This is known as change saturation, when changes keep growing and growing to the point that we feel like we cannot take anymore.
What is change saturation?
Change saturation is not a new concept, but one that is certainly in focus most recently as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the tidal wave of changes and completely new experiences that followed. Essentially change saturation is what occurs when one’s capacity for change has been reached, and once this happens resistance grows, making it difficult to implement future changes.
According to US mental health provider Ginger, in 2020, 69 percent of employees said the pandemic was the most stressful point of their entire professional career. It is no wonder that employee burnout spiked post-pandemic and workplaces continue to determine their path and how they will define work structures and systems.
Even with the understanding that change is necessary it can still wear people down and cause substantial stress. Even if we can’t amend the fact that change is everywhere and increasing, we can execute strategies to help address the ramifications of change.
4 Tips to Address Change Saturation
1. Start with a Structured Approach to Prioritize
The first step in addressing change saturation is to ensure that the proposed change(s) are indeed necessary and will result in positive impacts. Change for change’s sake is never good and can cause more harm than good. A simplified way to prioritize is to determine if immediate action is needed or if the change can be planned out to a later date. Starting with a timing approach to change can help to determine a manageable cadence and ultimately make changes more digestible for the future.
2. Communication is Key
One major cause of employee stress is a feeling that they are not in control or not made aware of changes that are occurring. Having an open line of communication can make employees feel empowered and aware of workplace changes before they happen. Communication should be clear, consistent, and offer details so that employees don’t feel left in the dark.
3. Get Serious about Scheduling
One frequent complaint of employees, and consumers alike, is that they don’t feel like they know what is coming next. Developing a detailed schedule of what is happening now, soon, and in the future can make employees feel like they will not be surprised by anything as they will know what exactly is happening. Once a schedule is set it is also easier to maintain in the future and keep better consistent practices when it comes to planning.
4. Track Changes and Show Results
Changes can come into question when people feel like they do not see or understand the impact of those changes. To get ahead of this issue there should be defined metrics at the very start of any change to understand how success can and should be measured. And at the end of a change initiative there should be clear evidence of the result of the change.
Whether it is in the workplace, brand positioning to the masses, or an amendment to channel distribution change can feel sudden and jarring. However, by mapping out what exactly is to be done and expected it becomes much more digestible to not only address change but to also embrace change and understand the benefits that can be gained by trying something new.
Where We Come In
At empatiX, we love studying consumer trends and insights. We study consumers to understand what they like, what they need and all the opportunities in between. We love helping brands become truly customer-centric organizations and we’ve spent decades building lasting connections with our clients.
Need help strengthening customer experiences in your organization? We would love to chat! Reach out to us at email@example.com.