Dealing With Uncertainty And Change

Change is inevitable in organizations.  Each day, organizations face new challenges and complications.  Buyouts.  Mergers.  Acquisitions.  Restructures.  Such drastic occurrences create confusion for employees.  Confusion leads to blunders.  Blunders mark the beginning of the blame game.  As soon as fingers are pointed…prepare for war.  Everyone has their version of who neglected a critical task, what caused the new system to crash, why the project failed and how the development team fell apart.

Imagine the level of fear and ambiguity associated with work quality deficiencies.  Stressed front line employees may attempt to check in with management for direction.  Sometimes management doesn’t have the answer.  Unfortunately, frustrated employees call out or permanently check out.  This leads to high turnover.  Let’s face it.  People dislike surprises on the job.  Think about this for a moment.  What would you do if you arrived at work and your boss greeted you with an awkward smile and said “I have disappointing news!”  And goes on to say that he knew about the impending changes…but waited to inform the department. YOU WOULD PANIC!  Work flows more smoothly when individuals have a clear understanding of the future course.

Here are some tactics for leaders to consider when initiating organizational changes.  The main focus should be to build awareness, support and excitement in the organization.  First, leaders (from the top down) need to thoroughly educate employees about the change efforts.  The good, bad and the ugly.  Being transparent is the only way to gain trust.  Secondly, encourage employees to participate in the transition planning process by soliciting their ideas.  Form advisory committees so that employees can work on special projects.  Remember, a little ingratiation goes along way.  Thank employees for their commitment, participation and willingness to contribute.  Praise individuals who make advances and breakthroughs in difficult areas.

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Categories: Organizational Transformation

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