Changes are inevitable and not always controllable, what you can control is how you mange, react and work through the change process.
I challenge anyone to argue that 2020 wasn’t a year of significant change for organisations. Business organisational models were turned on their head, priorities changed, a shift to remote working alongside a global pandemic and let’s not forget Brexit!
Organisational change is constant in many organisations, this can be driven by customers, technology, the markets. Change is often important to success.
We should not fear change we should embrace it. It takes courage to let go of the familiar and embrace the new. Change brings opportunity.
Alongside remote working, we saw the introduction of furlough, a term most of us had not heard of before 2020, and unfortunately some companies failed, and in 2020 unemployment has hit the highest level for 4 years. This is expected to continue in 2021.
People are NOT afraid of change; they are afraid of loss.
People do not want change when they anticipate loss or there is uncertainty about the change or their ability to cope with it, that loss is impossible. When we anticipate gain and are relatively certain about it, we welcome change.
If you want people to embrace change, they must see some personal benefit that far outweighs the losses.
It is important to manage change effectively as there can be a long-lasting effect. By managing the change, it will help you to reach your organisational goals and objectives by maintaining the commitment of your people. When change is managed poorly, this can be more negative than making no change at all. Every change is different, and individuals will deal and react differently. It can be resisted due to lack/loss of control, shock, inconvenience, uncertainty, or threat.
Change is often planned but in the last 12 months we have all experienced enforced rapid change and disruption both in our business and personal lives and this is likely to continue for some time with further changes still to come and more adaptations to coordinate.
One of the most important things during any change is communication and having a clear leader.
Leaders have had more visibility into the personal lives of their employees who have faced personal and professional struggles during the pandemic. We have all had some interesting calls with unusual appearances, children, pets, and other unexpected guests! So, what have we learnt about how we manage this change in leading people? In Gartner’s Reimagine HR Employee Survey it found that employers who support employees with their life experience see an increase of 23% of employees reporting better mental health, 17% reporting better physical health, and a 21% increase in the number of high performers compared to those who do not provide the same level of support to their employees.
With the changes we have been through we were unable to plan and have had to react to the enforced changes, so although we do not have timescales and end dates, we can plan the process or the next transformation, returning to “normal”.
Do you have a people plan?
Have you analysed the changes to your business and the things that went well and the things that did not go so well?
We would argue that we should always be leading ‘people first’ as employees are our greatest asset.
Has the culture of leadership changed in your organisation to reflect these changes?
Clare Dalziel, HR Dept and Tanya Lee, Emperor Coaching have been talking about the impact of change in 2020 and the impact on your people. Change is going to continue in 2021 so talk to us about how we can help to support you in preparing your people plan and managing change within your business in 2021 and beyond.