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IS YOUR FINANCE FUNCTION DROWNING IN "CHANGE FATIGUE"?

Change Fatigue isn't just a buzzword—it's a genuine concern, as highlighted by Gartner's recent revelations. Finance professionals are being bombarded with unprecedented levels of change, leading to fatigue that's undermining performance, triggering attrition, and hampering responsiveness.


What's intriguing in my view is Gartner's pinpointing of a critical oversight among finance leaders—they tend to obsess over the quantity of changes rather than addressing the deeper issues employees face. Hilary Richards, VP at Gartner Finance Practice, emphasizes that it's the disruptive nature of changes that truly wears down employees, not just the sheer volume.

 

When we say "disruption," we're talking about changes that intrude on employees' daily routines and performance, throwing them off balance. Another significant factor exacerbating change fatigue is the toll it takes on employees' personal lives, forcing them to sacrifice personal plans and work extra hours to cope with workplace changes.

 

Gartner identifies three key reasons why disruption is the primary driver of change fatigue:

  1. Daily Disruptions Take Their Toll: It's the constant barrage of day-to-day changes—like shifts in management, team dynamics, and job scopes—that really wear employees down. These small-scale changes hit closer to home, leaving little breathing room between one change and the next, amplifying fatigue.

  2. Top-Down Dictates Backfire: Instead of fostering open dialogue, many organizations dictate how employees should adapt to changes. This top-down approach strips employees of autonomy and fails to address their fears and concerns, further fuelling fatigue.

  3. Reactivity Breeds Burnout: Waiting until employees are burned out before addressing their fatigue only leads to more problems. Proactively supporting employees to navigate changes helps prevent burnout and turnover.

 

While Gartner's categorization of fatigue factors is insightful, it prompts us to question whether we're truly dealing with change fatigue or if it's more accurately described as stress. The relentless influx of initiatives can indeed wear down finance professionals, but in my view it's the alarming levels of stress that pose the real threat, leading to health issues and absenteeism.

 

So, the next time you're gearing up for a new initiative or project, pause and consider its impact on individual team members. Is the potential cost of attrition and reduced productivity worth the economic gains? It's time to prioritize the well-being of your finance team and rethink how we approach change more sympathetically in the workplace.


 

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