Change – few people like it, and even fewer people embrace it. But as the philosopher, Heraclitus says, “the only constant in life is change”.
With Brexit negotiations on hold ahead of this evening’s vote of confidence on Theresa May’s leadership, the whole country could be facing another big change. So, we thought this guest post on how to manage change from Chris Mooney, Director of Right Trax Training, was perfectly timed!
The trouble with change
In any change initiative within a business, the focus is all too often on the systems and processes. These are hugely important, however one line on a project plan for ‘communication and training’ does not mean that people have been truly accounted for. It’s time to start putting your people first.
Let’s consider a restructure or organisational design, which most of us will have been affected by somewhere in our careers. How many times do roles change, workflows become more streamlined or, at worst, people made redundant with no real thought or upfront plan on the impact of working patterns? Add to this a lack of communication throughout and it’s a race to catch up after the changes are made. To get to a place where people know what’s expected of them and how to meet those expectations following a change is challenging.
Open communication is key
No news isn’t good news during organisational change (or any change for that matter). People want to know what is happening, even when you think there isn’t really much to tell them. An update is still an update!
The impact of appearing closed and guarded is dangerous. People become distrustful and cynical, opening the door to stress and anxiety. Some will look around for their next role and make the move, leaving those who stay to face even more uncertainty and pressure. Others won’t consider leaving, instead feeling disengaged long after the change has been implemented.
Leaders in particular need to step up and help people to understand the ‘why’ behind the change, not just the ‘what’. Seek views, get input and involve people during the process. You’re a leader for a reason, and people will look to you through turbulent times. Positivity, resilience and adaptability will not go unnoticed.
Support employees before, during and after change
At Right Trax Training, we’re often asked to support clients by helping their people to manage stress or build resilience. This is often as a result of recent organisational changes. It is always a great sign when businesses want to provide support to their workforce, but it can be perceived as an afterthought once the horse has bolted. People need to be communicated with and given the opportunity to prepare before and during the change, not just afterwards.
We work with managers and their teams to help them interact and communicate more effectively, giving people the skills and mindset they need to better deal with organisational change. This helps people to understand themselves and adapt their approach to better connect with others, increasing team cohesion and performance.
Claire has almost 25 years Recruitment experience. A specialist in the regional recruitment marketplace, Claire has extensive local knowledge and holds a reputation for quality, integrity, honesty and excellent matching. Heading up the HR and Office & Commercial Divisions of Bond Williams. Claire is responsible for the overall growth and …