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The #1 Response to Change in the Workplace to Avoid

Updated: Feb 16

Change isn’t always bad. For example, a broader outreach, a new program offering, or new hires are changes your constituents, supporters, and volunteers want to see. It’s when change is synonymous with risk or uncertainty that we react. How do we react?

Psychology tells us we respond to change in one of four ways:

  1. We fight the change.

  2. We flee the change.

  3. We freeze in change. 

  4. We fawn or minimize the disruption, anxiety, and stress caused by change. 

Oh, boy. I’m thinking about the last time I came up against change and froze. I wish I could tell you that I embraced it and focused my energy and attention on the problems I had to solve. Instead, I fawned and minimized how stressed and anxious I felt because of a communication breakdown. Eventually, I contacted a more experienced colleague who helps large corporations meet their project goals. Their advice was to find another project. 

So, what is the top response to change to avoid? It’s an impossible response: avoiding change. 

A top reason nonprofit CEOs and upper management turn to a nonprofit consulting firm is change

How leaders address change happening inside and outside their organization is crucial to achieving programmatic, fundraising, and organizational goals. There is no more critical change affecting so many organizations than staff turnover.

#1 reason you’ll need a nonprofit consulting firm: staff turnover

Have you noticed more challenges than solutions on your desk as a nonprofit CEO? I’d bet burnout and its cheeky cousin, ‘silent quitting,’ hit your organization. 

In 2021, the Great Resignation hit the nonprofit sector hard at the mid-career and leadership level. Many industries, including nonprofits, are struggling to address this workplace sea change. 

A Harvard Business School article reveals a high percentage of employees are struggling with post-pandemic stress. In addition, nonprofit organizations often serve communities grappling with trauma caused by poverty, injustice, violence, stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. It’s emotionally and psychologically taxing work.

Millions of employees are fleeing change at work. 

A bold goal rests on your skilled, dedicated, and energized staff. You should put all your resources into them, right? Yes. But are your people able to achieve the objectives set before them? Is the plan you have to achieve your audacious goal buoyed by a deep understanding of how your people shine or what they need to be successful? Is your plan strategically utilizing your people to the fullest?  

Nonprofit consulting firms provide more than additional capacity. They can also devise the strategic plan and implementation roadmap, enabling your current staff to take more sustainable steps. 

Change in the workplace is inevitable

I believe in asking for help during times of struggle and growth. Sometimes, leaders stop themselves from engaging a nonprofit consulting firm because of the cost or the time commitment or because they’re under the impression that it’s up to them to change the organization's culture or turn around an underperforming program. 

To all nonprofit leaders struggling to react to staff turnover: You’re not alone

So, when your nonprofit faces change, how you react—fight, flight, freeze, or fawn—makes a huge difference. Take action by engaging a nonprofit consulting firm. Their specialized skillsets, empathetic and experienced coaching, and data-driven insights, among other assets, will help you embrace change and overcome staff turnover. 

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About Laura Kim LLC. A wordy wonder woman who helps donors meet their philanthropic goals by day and by night, she’s a content creator for organizations driven by the desire to create helpful solutions so that communities flourish. You can find her at

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