Creating a Culture of Adaptability: Overcoming Resistance to Change in the Workplace

Have you ever worked with someone who resists even the smallest break from the norm? Or perhaps you’ve encountered individuals who instinctively say ‘no’ to new policies or procedures before even considering their benefits? The problem with those who resist change is that they often try to influence their colleagues with their negative views.

As a species that has evolved with an inherent fear of change, a few individuals preying on the insecurities of their coworkers can make it extremely challenging to implement new ideas across a business.

To build teams that thrive amidst disruption, it’s essential to develop a culture that embraces ambiguity and change. Here’s how to foster an environment where adaptability is valued and rewarded:

1. Embrace Change Through Hiring

Start by hiring people who naturally embrace change. Look for candidates who have a track record of adapting to new situations and who can demonstrate their ability to thrive in dynamic environments. During the interview process, focus on questions that reveal their attitudes towards change and their experiences in dealing with uncertainty.

2. Introduce Feedback and Engagement Structures

To create a culture that accepts ambiguity, introduce feedback and engagement structures that promote transparency and inspire participation in change. Regularly solicit input from employees on new initiatives and changes. This not only helps in identifying potential issues early but also makes employees feel valued and involved in the decision-making process.

3. Promote Agility with Reward and Recognition Systems

Implement reward and recognition systems that celebrate agility and adaptability. Recognise employees who show a positive attitude towards change and who contribute to successful transitions within the organisation. This reinforces the importance of adaptability and encourages others to follow suit.

4. Link Success to Adaptability

Make it clear that the company’s success is closely linked to its ability to adapt. Share stories and examples of how adaptability has led to positive outcomes for the business. This helps employees form a strong association between being adaptable and achieving success, motivating them to embrace change rather than resist it.

5. Address Resistance Proactively

Identify and address resistance to change proactively. Engage with employees who are resistant to understand their concerns and provide support to help them adjust. Sometimes, resistance stems from a lack of understanding or fear of the unknown, which can be alleviated through clear communication and training.


Building a culture that thrives on disruption and embraces change requires a multifaceted approach. By hiring adaptable individuals, fostering transparency through feedback structures, rewarding agility, and clearly linking company success to adaptability, you can create an environment where change is not feared by welcomed.

For expert advice on developing a change-ready culture and attracting the right talent, connect with Signature Career Management. We can help you build teams that excel in the face of change. Contact us today!

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