Organisational change is inevitable. For many employees, having a fixed role is no longer guaranteed, and this is especially true at management level. For some, changing roles can feel like an imposition, like the rug being pulled from under them.
For many employers, however, growth means change and adaptability, while keeping an eye on expenditure. So, if the workforce contracts, those remaining may feel the added burden of taking on new responsibilities.
Challenges to Confidence
The idea of being taken out of your comfort zone might seem like an exciting opportunity, a means of demonstrating your abilities beyond what is expected of you. But having to change roles does not always feel this way.
While it can be the opportunity to expand your resumé and learn new skills, it might also feel like you’re being stretched beyond your capabilities, or that your employer is taking advantage of you.
It is up to the employer to manage the expectations of employees when it comes to changing roles, and this can work in different ways
For example, many businesses now require senior managers to have skills that cut across disciplines, including organisational and technical knowledge, as well as personal development and people management.
Conversely, there may be situations where someone faces a reduced role. Here the message is far more difficult for the employer to present as positive, but maintaining the right level of communication is still crucial. The risk is that the whole situation becomes adversarial, or that the employee ceases to be engaged.
How Should You Manage Organisational Change?
Just because organisational change is inevitable, it doesn’t mean employers can assume employees find it easy, or acceptable.
It is vital that employers are clear that they understand people’s concerns, and the challenges they see in changing roles, and that they address these with clarity and, where necessary, training.
The dangers of not doing this are threefold:
- employees may become disengaged, with morale and productivity suffering;
- those in new roles are inadequately equipped to manage them, again resulting in lost productivity, and issues such as absenteeism
- the business itself becomes too loosely structured and chaotic, with a lack of focus about where roles and responsibilities begin and end.
Managing change, and communicating it successfully, are specialist skills. If you believe that your business needs strengthening in these areas, please contact us.