Managing Change

Change affects everyone, it’s the only certainty we’re told, yet everyone is surprised when it happens and no one likes it. Managers are told to ‘Embrace It’ and ‘sell it to your staff’, Oh! And by the way, it’s the latest KPI (Key Performance Indicator) on your scorecard. This style of management is a recipe for disaster, yet many believe it to be the only option, but there are other ways.

Successful change needs good communication and consultation at the planning stage. Involve the right people, at the right time, in the right place, not just before, during or after implementation. At best you’ll need to revisit your aims, at worst it will be painful and destructive, and guess what! It won’t be the staff at fault either.
Change can’t be sold to, or forced on people; it needs to be managed with sensitivity and transparency to create an atmosphere of understanding for people to cope effectively. Don’t forget though, before you get this far, managers need to be able to accept and understand the changes first, are yours ready? Change needs to be facilitated, not sold to, forced on or even taught, that includes changing attitudes and mindsets. If your people have the wrong attitudes and mindsets in the first place, then your business must have the wrong vision and aims to allow them to operate in that way.

Change needs to be facilitated and that’s where coaching can help to bring the necessary unbiased and non-judgemental focus to facilitate the changes. A coach will have no personal or company interests to protect or history to defend which might otherwise create barriers. Speculate to accumulate the saying goes also invest now to profit later and that includes good, honest working relationships.

Stress Management
Stress management coaching is good commonsense investment in people; it can be tailored to your needs and will accommodate individuals or groups, most importantly, it’s good value for money, and it’s very productive.

You may be a very successful and professional organisation, with a reputation for training and developing a highly valued workforce, but just as a thought:

How well are your people managing at the moment?
It’s true to say that most organisations are going through some very difficult and stressful times at the moment. Most are trying to adapt and take measures in response, whilst trying to protect that valuable core of people, offering the same high standards, but do you know at what cost?

Work is listed as one of the biggest causes of stress affecting people today, and it’s no surprise that is has such a big impact on our lives, how we feel about ourselves and how we perform as individuals and team members. But knowing that it exists and understanding about the impact doesn’t make it ok, or that we shouldn’t try to bring about some change.

This subject, or the term ‘Stress’ has been debated long and hard in recent years and has not always met with a positive response, thoughts range from, ‘it doesn’t exist’ to, as many as 1 in 4 people have lost time at work in the last 12 months through stress. Apparently even finding a definition caused problems and arguments.
Now, the most commonly accepted definition of stress (mainly attributed to Richard S Lazarus) is that stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.
In other words, too much to do and not enough tools or time to do it.
According to research by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) in 2000, one in five people, an estimated five million workers, were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressed at work. Stress caused by work is the second biggest occupational health problem in Britain, second only to back problems. Identifying it is the first issue; secondly, men in particular are reluctant to ask for help as it might be seen as a weakness.

It would be dangerous to ignore the fact that stress exists, and even if you’re not aware of it, studies suggest that someone or several people within your organisation are being affected by it. Deciding on what actions to take will be based on whether stress has already been identified or not. If not, businesses may consider a complete review to establish where, understand why, how to tackle it and build in processes to recognise it.
If stress has already been identified, the decisions will be based on the circumstances:
Confront it and change whatever needs to be changed to create a stress free environment.
If it can’t be changed, people must be supported and how they feel about it should be managed to help the process
If stress is identified as a result of something that has already taken place, then the focus should be on supporting the survival of the effects.

Whatever the decisions there’s lots of help available to assist businesses with this process