Organizations are constantly changing, and it is the leader’s role to help manage the change process. There are four main stages that employees go through when change occurs:
Shock or denial – This isn’t really happening/it doesn’t affect me.
Anger or fear – Why do we need to change? What if I can’t do my job now? Management doesn’t really know our business.
Acceptance – Maybe this won’t be so bad. I will do what I have to do to keep my job.
Commitment – This new way works better. I forget how we used to do it.
Identify a recent change at work, briefly describe the change and discuss how you or someone you supervise dealt with the change using these four stages (not everyone gets through all four).



Sample Answer

Sample Answer


Title: Navigating Change: A Journey of Employee Adaptation


Change is an inevitable part of organizational growth and development. As organizations evolve, it becomes crucial for leaders to effectively manage the change process and guide employees through its various stages. This essay explores the four main stages that employees typically experience when confronted with change: shock or denial, anger or fear, acceptance, and commitment. Through a personal anecdote, we will delve into the experience of navigating change and highlight how individuals can progress through these stages.

The Change: Implementing a New Project Management System

Recently, our organization underwent a significant transformation by implementing a new project management system. This change aimed to streamline workflow processes, enhance collaboration, and improve overall project efficiency. The new system entailed adopting new software, training employees on its usage, and redefining existing project management protocols.

Navigating the Stages of Change

Shock or Denial

During the initial phase of shock or denial, employees often resist change and may question its necessity. They may feel that the change does not affect them directly or that it is unnecessary. Personally, I experienced a sense of disbelief when the announcement was made. I questioned whether the current project management system was truly inefficient and if the proposed changes would bring any tangible benefits.

Anger or Fear

The second stage is characterized by feelings of anger or fear. Employees may express concerns about their ability to adapt to the change, fear potential job loss, or doubt management’s understanding of the organization’s needs. In my team, some members were apprehensive about the change due to their lack of familiarity with the new software and doubts about its effectiveness. They expressed concerns about increased workload and potential disruptions in project timelines.


As employees begin to understand the rationale behind the change and its potential benefits, they gradually move towards acceptance. In this stage, individuals acknowledge the need for change and start to embrace it. Through effective communication from leadership and training sessions focused on the new project management system, my team gradually transitioned towards acceptance. We started to recognize the advantages of increased collaboration, improved task allocation, and enhanced project monitoring.


The final stage of commitment signifies full integration and adoption of the change. Employees become comfortable with the new system and begin to appreciate its benefits over the old ways of working. In my team, this stage was reached when we witnessed tangible improvements in project efficiency, reduced errors, and increased client satisfaction. It became evident that the new project management system was more effective than our previous approach.


Change is an integral part of organizational growth, and leaders must play a crucial role in managing this process. By understanding the four stages of employee adaptation – shock or denial, anger or fear, acceptance, and commitment – leaders can guide individuals through each phase effectively. In my personal experience with implementing a new project management system, I witnessed firsthand how individuals progressed through these stages. By providing support, addressing concerns, and highlighting the benefits of change, leaders can facilitate a smoother transition and foster a culture of resilience and adaptability within their organizations.

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