Working life is expected to become increasingly dynamic at the expense of routine work. This paper examines how the values of work units relate to changes that make work more dynamic or more structured. Drawing on a mixed-methods design, the paper examines how values that conflict with change objectives relate to challenges when implementing the changes. The paper explains in what situations and why values are relevant for change management. The paper contributes to change management by explicating the role of values when changes in the workplace are implemented and presents a model for integrating values into change communication. MAD statement This paper makes a difference by highlighting that an important aspect of change readiness and resistance relates to the consequences that changes have for the fulfilment of basic values. Attitudes to change are thus dependent on how the change process and objective ‘fits’ the change recipients’ values. Building on multiple real-life examples, the paper describes how misalignments between values and changes create challenges for change initiatives. A model that practitioners can use to alleviate potential misalignments by incorporating basic values in their change communication is presented and discussed.