Employee Fatigue Has Broken Change Management — What Can CIOs Do? | Gartner

HR Technology Leadership & Culture

As many organizations implement various changes in the workplace, I have received multiple requests for resources in change management. Behind these requests is a growing concern that the volume and pace of change that workers continue to experience contribute to employee burnout, disengagement, and change fatigue. While various factors contribute to this overall sentiment, one significant factor is the overwhelming number of technology changes employees are exposed to in an organization. The article provides strategies for how organizations can include “change fatigue” as a factor for deciding when and how technology changes and implementations are made in an organization. Since Chief HR Officers and their teams work closely with CIOs and the IT function on managing tech implementations, the two functions can partner to incorporate fatigue as a component of the organization’s decision-making process regarding how and when it releases technology changes. The article provides a case study example from Sky Cable, which plans and releases technology changes based on employee capacity, not just business urgency. Employee capacity is estimated through qualitative discussions with business leaders using questions such as: “Of the changes discussed, which one do you expect to cause the most stress and fatigue in your team?” Based on these assessments, the CIO collaborates with business leaders and decides whether to rescope, release, delay, or eliminate changes. Several other ideas are discussed.