Brampto - Drive into the country anywhere and you will see a multitude of coloured leaves. Some a brilliant yellow/gold, others more in the red line. Still other trees are totally barren. Truly the fall season experience of is all around us.
What we are experiencing is something that has been happening for hundreds of years, it is called "change". We even take trips to see the changing of the leaves. We accept it as part of the pattern of nature. Why then do we resist the very idea of change so vigorously in our own life?
In today's economic environment change is more common than a mere 5 years ago. Some organizations have undertaken major restructuring to handle decreased demand for services/products. Others have eliminated product lines; take for example General Motors and elimination of the Pontiac line.
Whether these changes are made on a large scale such as at GM or on a smaller scale with the SME (Small to Medium Sized Enterprises), there is one common factor: people.
Some have lost a job held for a number of years. Others are still employed but asked to perform jobs previously not done. Others are doing what they did before but in a new way because of the need for the organization to be more efficient.
The challenge for all individuals is to address these changes as we do those of nature, with an acceptance and understanding that they are part of the ebb and flow of life itself.
The challenge for leaders of organizations going through changes is to ensure employees are supported during changes. The leader needs to do more than prepare a presentation on what is changing. The leader needs to acknowledge the anxiety of those who are leaving roles as well as those who will continue to function as before.
The first group may need to be provided support in areas such as how to find a new job. How to do perform the tasks required of them in their new role within the organization.In short, how to no longer identify themselves with the "job" they did but rather as an individual.
The latter group also requires support. This group is often impacted by what is known as "survivor syndrome". They are just waiting for the other shoe to fall. The question in the mind of those left behind is "who will be next? "Their need is for information; information; information. The leader needs to ensure that everything is done to communication
- what is happening;
- when it is happening; and
- most importantly why it is happening.
A wise profession from the U of T once told me that "People do not resist change, they resist being changed. "Consider this concept when you are making changes in your company. Involve the individuals impacted, communicate clearly the: What; When; Why of the change. Some will still resist the change on general principles but others will support the effort enthusiastically.
Gordon J. H. Newman, CPT
Gordon is President of The Newman Learning Group Inc. an organization dedicated to providing value add solutions to improve the bottom line performance of organization and individuals.Gordon may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-790-2944