Change can be for the good or it can result in a situation being in a worse off position than where it currently is. Because of this, change is something that is very hard to accept and further, even harder to stay afloat when it is happening. Looking at the current situation in our environment, change is inevitable, no one can run away from it. This means that companies have to find ways to adjust in order to keep up with the outside world. No business survives on its own. In this article, we will look at how the human capital can stay satisfied during times of uncertainty, where everything around is changing and how to stay above the water. The focus will be on change management and how to handle the different stages, amongst other factors. By reading this, anyone can benefit from the guidelines that will be outlined in the article, from executives to managers, to subordinates. This is as a result of change not only affecting one group in a company but everyone and everyone can find healthy ways in which they can cope during the times.
What is Change Management?
Passenheim (2010) explains the change as the attempt of an organisation’s efforts to put in place, policies, and procedures to bring about a new understanding of a new era about to take place within. Change can come about as a result of various circumstances that arise when something changes in the environment. This may lead to uneasiness amongst employees as it is not certain how the change process will go. The responsibility of the organisation’s management is to ensure that the employees are kept informed of everything that will take place in the organisation and the possible impact that it may have on everyone in the organisation.
The Stages of Change
It is widely understood that there are various stages when it comes to change and what people should expect in each stage, these will be outlined below and some ways of coping during the time will be highlighted as well.
Stage 1: Increase urgency – By increasing urgency, the team may increase its chances of acting right away. It is like being an emergency, something needs to be done at that moment. Here, ensure that everyone knows why exactly, action needs to be taken at that present moment.
Stage 2: Build a supportive team – Without a supportive team, you can not win. No one survives by themselves. Have some people who believe in your vision and are willing to stick with you throughout.
Stage 3: Get the vision right – Know exactly what you are trying to achieve. A vision that is not understood will never be achieved.
Stage 4: Communicate effectively for buy-in – Find ways in which your intent will be received well by people and understood clearly.
Stage 5: Induce action from people involved – It is important for different people to be involved in your vision. The bigger the buy-in the better.
Stage 6: Create short term wins – The bigger picture usually seems impossible to achieve but when you create small milestones, it seems easier to achieve for everyone. It does not seem like a big reach.
Stage 7: Do not give up – during times of uncertainty, it is normal for you to feel demoralised but the key is to not give up.
Stage 8: Make the change stick – Once you realise that something has worked, work as hard as you can to make the change stick. Once this happens, it is difficult to go back to previous ways.
How Can Managers Ensure that Employees Stay Satisfied?
According to the Ryerson Unuversity (2011), there are a few questions that a change leader needs to ask before bringing the idea to the rest of the team. By asking these questions, queries about the change may reduce as everyone, including the manager is clear about the change that is about to take place.
- Am I able to explain this change to anyone who may ask me about it?
- Do I believe that change is a worthwhile cause?
- What kind of changes will be brought about by this and when will this happen?
- Do the other change employees know their roles, duties and responsibilities during this time?
- What level of trust exists between groups and how can that be addressed in order to successfully drive this change project?
- How can I make the message clear, interesting and engaging?
Employee’s Responsibility During Change
There are some ways in which one can deal with the changing times in an organisation, according to Heathfield (2019). These are outlined below and are very helpful when thinking of how to go about the times of uncertainty.
- With the collaboration of the organisation’s management, as an employee, one needs to ensure that they are involved in the change that is taking place in the organisation. Without this involvement, employees may be left in the dark and frustration may arise. It is right for you to involve yourself to know what is going on and be in the loop from the time when one is allowed to take part.
- If there are negative people in the team and you have influence over one or two, it is important to play your part in getting them on the side of management. It is possible that there will be some who will not be enthusiastic about the change that is about to happen but with a bit of explanation and encouragement, this obstacle can be overcome.
- On the other hand, if you are one of the people who do not believe in the vision that the management is taking the company, do not be quick to turn the other cheek. This may cause you frustration as you will be involved in the opposite of what everyone else is doing. The manager has everyone’s best interest at heart and the attitude that you portray may also affect the way in which everyone else may receive the efforts of the manager. What you can do instead, is to try and understand what the reason for the change is. Usually, without this understanding, people are quick to turn down important ideas that may drive the organisation from the current state to its desired state.
Having read the useful tips and guidelines of how to ensure that everyone is satisfied during times of uncertainty, it is important that everyone at every level involves themselves positively during this time. Change is not always bad and does not always lead to a negative effect on you and others. Seek to understand first before throwing an idea off completely.
Thandeka Madziwanyika is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 (242) 481946-48/481950 or cell number +263 783180936 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com