Change is rarely easy to accept
WHAT IS AT ISSUE? Why must change management be addressed? Why is change generally the source of disruption? It’s important to understand the problem before solutions can be applied.
Change is rarely easy to accept. It doesn’t always occur as a positive stroke favoring any one individual. For those times we are positively effected, there are other times that did not smile on us so graciously. It is these latter times, and more specifically the feelings associated with the negative effects of change that has created an entire cottage industry oriented around managing change.
The essence of why change can create such disruption in an organization is its’ association with “the unknown”. It is the unknown that can generate feelings of fear, stress, anxiety and miscommunication. Ultimately, these symptoms experienced by an employee can result in mistrust of management, loss of production, loss of profits and eventually loss of jobs.
Except for a small segment of our population, the unknown is not a condition in which we welcome. The unknown includes such issues as “how it will affect me?”, “what will it require of me?”, “will there be a benefit to me or can I expect to be negatively impacted…again?” and, of course, “what is it I’m not being told?”.
Each of these feelings can generate fear. The fear is generally a private and closely held fear which lurks around the corner and goes home with us in the evenings. This fear also raises the questions, “is my job on the line?” “what will happen if I loose my job?” “will my compensation be effected?” “will I be asked to change responsibilities? “my hours?”, ” will I be required to relocate?”
Therefore, in the absence of knowledge, our imagination begins to take over our common sense, and, for most of us, our imagination is far more effective at coming up with reasons for fear to exist.
CHANGE CAN BE MANAGED
There is a believe that to cope with change, an organization must complete some form of intense long-term program. The reality, however, is that there are very simple processes that can be used to successfully support change. It begins with recognizing that change causes discomfort and concludes with addressing these causes. Oversimplified? Not really, learning to address change is not as difficult as many would have you believe.
As to organizational change, the premise is that a company will do what it must to survive and thrive; this by nature will require occasional change in the way an organization operates. The organization’s responsibility should be to assist the employee by providing strong leadership, clear direction, and the coaching assistance to become more self managing as an employee.
Employees should commit to taking initiative to support the goals of the company. In the process of supporting the company’s goals, the employee becomes more valuable to the organization. The personal initiative required to support the company’s goals can also lead the employee to become more self-sufficient thus allowing the employee to thrive both professionally and personally.
The long term benefit is apparent, the results are a highly motivated and productive environment.
About the author: Charlie Selcer has provided organizations with employee training and development through Strictly Success Inc. for over 15 years. Strictly Success is a U.S. based employee training company for both the public and private sectors including some of America’s Fortune 1000 companies. Strictly Success specializes in high performance teams and teambuilding, employee motivation, employee accountability and change management. Interactive training includes events, workshops and keynotes ranging in duration from 1 hour to 2 days.