Change is an inevitable part of life … and the workplace. And yet, at The Bagg Group, we know from more than three decades of interviewing candidates that the notion of change frequently provokes anxiety among employees.
In his book, Management Challenges for the 21st Century, Peter Drucker captures the sense of disquiet that is typically experienced by staff. He writes, “Everybody has accepted by now that change is unavoidable. But that still implies that change is like death and taxes — it should be postponed as long as possible and no change would be vastly preferable. But in a period of upheaval, such as the one we are living in, change is the norm.”
As experts in staffing, we can confirm that employees take change personally. The question that people ask themselves first when any new initiative is introduced is, “How will it affect me?”
Our clients, the best employers in the GTA, often address this question directly with their employees. That’s important for employee morale and retention.
The Bagg Group staffing solution experts suggest asking the following additional questions to help people manage change, fearlessly.
· What problem do you think the change is intended to address?
· What might work better for you as a result of the change?
· What do you think might affect you negatively?
· What obstacles do we need to overcome and what support do we need to offer to resolve your concerns?
· What is in it for you to adopt the change?
These questions are adaptations of standard queries companies usually consider when building a case for organizational change.
In a recent Financial Post article entitled Change can be managed, Mark Smith of KPMG writes that organizations must tackle such questions as, “How will things be better if we do change? And how will they be worse if we don’t?” to ensure that its new plans are the right ones for moving forward.
By personalizing these questions for the individual, the organization and the employee can recognize change as a way to move forward in synch. As a result, resistance to change gives way to a willingness to let go of the old and bring on the new.
And that’s a necessity for all of us in today’s competitive workplace. As John F. Kennedy so famously said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”