How to Overcome Resistance to Process Improvement

How to Overcome Resistance to Process Improvement

Resistance to process improvement is a common challenge that I’ve seen in many organizations I’ve worked with. It’s not surprising since people are hardwired to resist change. Getting them to unlearn a behavior that has been built upon for years is not going to happen overnight.

Understanding why people resist process improvement initiatives

In process improvement, you are not just giving people a checklist to follow. You are changing the way they think. Other than the fear of change, resistance to process improvement may be due to a lack of understanding of the benefits of process improvement and a perceived lack of time or resources to implement changes. 

There is also the underlying cultural challenge of differences in belief. Your people might not feel the need to change or improve anything at the moment. This is especially true when things are calm and quiet. 

It’s much easier to implement process improvement if people feel the pain and are being pushed to their limits. There is less resistance. But you don’t have to wait for fire and chaos to improve. It’s better to change when there is nothing wrong

Whatever the reason for people’s resistance to process improvement, what matters is that you can address it properly. 

Effective ways to overcome resistance to process improvement

Your employees are a vital component of a successful process improvement effort, and their contributions and commitment are essential to achieving lasting and meaningful change. Here are ways to overcome resistance and get your employees’ buy-in:

Communicate the need for change

It is important to communicate the reasons for the process improvement to all stakeholders, including employees. This will help them understand why the changes are necessary and how they will benefit the organization.

Involve employees

Involve your employees in the process improvement efforts, including identifying the areas that need improvement and designing the solutions. This will help to build their buy-in and commitment to the changes.

Provide training and support

Provide your employees with the necessary training and support to help them adapt to the new processes. This will help them feel more confident and competent in their roles. 

Start small

Start with small process improvements and build on them gradually. This will help to build momentum and generate enthusiasm for the changes. One of the three qualitative questions to ask in knowing which problems to solve in process improvement is, “Can this problem be solved in 30 days?”

We don’t go for problems that are too big to be solved in 30 days. If it’s too big, we break it out. You do not solve everything all at once, but you incrementally improve. 

Celebrate success

Celebrate the successes that come from process improvements, no matter how small. This will help to build a culture of continuous improvement and encourage employees to embrace change.

Lead by example

Leaders should model the behaviors they want to see in their employees. As a leader, you must be open to feedback, embrace change, and demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement.

Listen to your people

An important part of building accountability in process improvement is listening and serving your people better. The only way you can truly overcome resistance is to understand what keeps your people from fully committing to your process improvement initiative. 

You have to continually listen to your employees until you have a deep understanding of their concerns and challenges, so you can address them and provide them with the support they need.

To understand the needs of your people, you must first have a clear understanding of the current state of your business. 

This is where The Flowstate Workshop comes in. The workshop is a 2-day process where I take your senior leaders through an in-depth process mapping tool.

At the end of our time together, your team will have solved 20% of their problems, and the best part is that you don’t need to start anything new or disrupt anything.

Plus, the most valuable takeaway of all is that I will help you understand the current state of your business with 100% accuracy.

To learn more about this workshop, click here.

Stop building on assumptions and start getting clear on what is needed to scale with integrity.

You can book a call here.


In your service,

Hilary Corna


Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


Leave a Reply

I am starting a revolution. One business and one person at a time.



When was the last time your inbox inspired you? Sign up today!

Thank you for subscribing!