I’ve been looking at any number of organizations which are currently undergoing change. Despite all the research, change is still seen as something very negative and implementing change remains a difficult mountain to climb. Why is that?
Let’s be honest. Change causes anxiety. Will I get to keep my job? Am I still a valued member of the organization?
There are any number of organizations which implement change smoothly, with little to no disruption to the productivity and job satisfaction. What do they do that works?
Probably the key thing is communication. When a change is being considered, leaders within the organization need to let the staff know what’s going on. Leaving it to the rumor mill is a surefire way to creating dissatisfaction. Ask the staff for their thoughts on how best to implement the change. Use the experience within the staff to quickly identify potential problem areas and have the staff work with management to develop realistic solutions to those problems should they develop.
Another key is making sure that the staff is provided with opportunities for training in the new way of doing things. This can help insure that the staff gets the training they need which prepares them for the new way of doing things, but it also sends an important message – they are considered valued assets to the organization. When downsizing has to occur, the organization can take a very positive step by insuring that resources and retraining are available to help people expand their skill sets and find employment in other areas. Simply letting folks go with the attitude of “don’t let the door hit you as you leave” paints the organization in a very negative light, one which is not easily countered. Word of mouth will insure that quality recruits will take a second look at an organization that doesn’t value its staff.
Change might not be our friend but we need to make sure we’re not turning it into an unbeatable foe, either.