Change Fatigue

Engaged but Exhausted

the consequences of change

Change Fatigue

Change Fatigue

Engaged but Exhausted

Change is an inescapable aspect of organisational life, propelled by diverse factors such as technological advancements, economic shifts, and evolving customer preferences. While change often heralds positive developments like enhanced efficiency and competitiveness, it can also instil feelings of uncertainty, exhaustion, and scepticism among employees. This condition is termed 'Change Fatigue,' and it can significantly affect both individual and organisational performance.

Being engaged in one's work is crucial for both productivity and personal fulfilment. However, exhaustion can severely impede one's ability to perform optimally and find satisfaction in their work. When employees are both engaged and exhausted, they are at risk of experiencing burnout. This state can manifest in numerous ways, including diminished motivation, subpar job performance, and low morale. Furthermore, it can wreak havoc on work-life balance and have adverse effects on health.

Change fatigue can make employees resistant to further changes, resulting in elevated turnover rates, reduced productivity, and waning job satisfaction. Moreover, it can escalate stress levels, contribute to burnout, and negatively affect wellbeing. Such an environment not only saps the morale of the workforce but can also have a detrimental impact on the organisation's financial health.

“We trained hard—but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we were reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising, and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while actually producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralisation.”

Petronius Arbiter (54 – 68 AD)

The Impact of Change

Decreased motivation and productivity

When employees face a relentless wave of changes, they may lose their sense of purpose and direction. This can have a detrimental effect on both their motivation and productivity. The constant alterations to their work can make them feel as though their efforts are in vain, as tasks may be frequently modified or even rendered obsolete.

Increased Stress and Burnout

The uncertainty that change often brings can significantly elevate stress levels and contribute to burnout. Employees may feel ill-equipped to navigate these changes, particularly if they perceive an increase in workload without a corresponding boost in resources or support.

Negative Impact on Mental Health

Change fatigue can adversely affect the mental health of employees. It can be a catalyst for anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions, which in turn can impair their ability to perform effectively and function optimally in the workplace.


An individuals attitude towards change.

Change scepticism, psychological exhaustion, uncertainty and pace of change.

Verbal Examines how these attitudes affect personal engagement.



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32 Questions (untimed)

Attitudes to Change Model

Change Attitude Definition Low Scores Indicate High Scores Indicate
Change Scepticism Reflects beliefs about the likelihood of change initiatives being successful. This is related to views about the competence of those responsible for implementing or managing change. Optimism related to the likelihood of change success and confidence in the effectiveness of change leaders. Scepticism related to the likelihood of change success and pessimism about the effectiveness of change leaders.
Psychological Exhaustion Reflects a feeling of being depleted or over-extended beyond one’s capacity to handle work demands. Exhaustion is a mechanism which drives affective reactions to change fatigue. Feeling able to cope and able to perform comfortably within the limits of personal resources. Feelings of being over-extended or overwhelmed by change demands.
Uncertainty Psychological uncertainty is defined as an individual’s inability to predict how change will impact on the organisation and consequentially the person. Uncertainty can contribute to the perception of change fatigue. Low levels of uncertainty about the impact of change; the impact of change is predictable and can be planned for effectively. High levels of uncertainty about how change may impact the organisation or personal job security.
Change Pace Change Pace reflects the overall perception that the rate of change is too frequent or too much change is taking place making it hard to cope with. The rate of change is not perceived as too frequent nor is it overwhelming. The amount or rate of change is perceived as too frequent or overwhelming.

State Engagement Model

Stage Engagement Attiributes Definition Low Scores Indicate High Scores Indicate
Satisfaction Satisfaction describes the extent to which the person feels fulfilled and energised by all aspects of the role and work environment. Low levels of satisfaction or higher disengagement with the current role. High levels of satisfaction leading to good engagement with the role and organisation.
Involvement Involvement describes an individual’s emotional attachment and sense of connection to an employing organisation. Low levels of attachment or weakened sense of connection to the employing organisation. High levels of attachment or strong sense of connection to the employing organisation.
Commitment Commitment is characterized by a tendency to internalise work-related problems and a willingness to “go the extra distance” on behalf of the organisation. Low levels of uncertainty about the impact of change; the impact of change is predictable and can be planned for effectively. High commitment, willing to take on problems for the benefit of the organisation and willing to ‘go the extra mile’.
Empowerment Empowerment reflects the sense of autonomy and control an individual feels within their work resulting in the ability to make an effective contribution. Low commitment, tendency not to feel responsible for organisational problems and less willing to go beyond fulfilling basic duties. A strong sense of autonomy or control over their own work enabling them to contribution in a way they feel is valued or valuable.

Change Fatigue Whitepaper